Sula Bermúdez-Silverman
Bad Luck Rock

★★☆☆☆

On until 6 January 2024

Bermúdez-Silverman’s tabletop sculptures cast in Uranium glass glow under UV light. Their forms resemble items from an architectural salvage catalogue. Stucco flourishes fallen from a Neoclassical cathedral spire are conjoined with a lion’s claw feet broken off a Queen Anne wardrobe. A Rococo window becomes the picture plane. These assemblies repeat in the exhibition with only minor variations in order and colour, as though they were customised for a mass consumer market. Each would be at home in the museum gift shop. 

Even without the artist’s explanation, this work is both blunt and lazy. Its references are too vague to place in the history of Western design and their contrasts are unchallenging. But the gallery text – itself a prime artefact of Art-Ideolo-GPT – suggests that Bermúdez-Silverman’s is a decolonial project intended to catch out the “pathological systems of power” hard-wired into her design trinkets. The European forms for her become weapons to bludgeon the conquistadors and to uncover the abusive history of extraction of Uranium glass’ raw materials. This is all talk, however, and brings nothing to the work which remains a poor man’s version of history or, more appropriately, a philistine collector’s absolution.


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Siobhan Liddell, Been and Gone at Hollybush Gardens ★★☆☆☆

Siobhan Liddell

Been and Gone

★★☆☆☆

A twee aesthetics native to a grandmother’s mantlepiece collection of tourist souvenirs and devotional figurines.

Avery Singer, Free Fall at Hauser & Wirth ★★☆☆☆

Avery Singer

Free Fall

★★☆☆☆

This show would be better without the baggage of the artist’s personal story and even better without the Twin Towers altogether.

Kevin Brisco Jr, But I Hear There Are New Suns at Union Pacific ★★☆☆☆

Kevin Brisco Jr

But I Hear There Are New Suns

★★☆☆☆

I didn’t get to see this show. Perhaps for the best.

Jan Gatewood, Group Relations at Rose Easton ★☆☆☆☆

Jan Gatewood

Group Relations

★☆☆☆☆

Such thin metaphors could only have come from LA.

RM, A Story Backwards at Auto Italia ★★☆☆☆

RM

A Story Backwards

★★☆☆☆

Having forgotten what the ‘dramatic’ in art stands for, visual artists today too often mistake hacked theory for stage directions.

Lutz Bacher, AYE! at Raven Row ★★★★☆

Lutz Bacher

AYE!

★★★★☆

There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition.

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