Chelsea College of the Arts MA Show – 05 – 12 Sept 2014
Spend my morning wandering round the maze of corridor at Chelsea College of Art. These photos are of some of the pieces which I especially liked – including work by friends Rebecca Molloy and Joshua Raffell – in fact Josh’s bottom features in one of the photos above in their elaborate efforts to encourage Tate goers to pop into the MA show first – so do go if you have an afternoon free, you’ll be a more than welcome visitor.
Becca’s work has transformed over the past year from being primarily interested in the human form to now having a curiosity in an overwhelming ‘everything’. Body form still plays a role but in a Rebecca Warren like style, they’re almost unrecognisably broken down in much looser brush marks. Paint now extends way out of the canvas into an installation that makes it look like her whole studio has become a painting, interjected with painted objects and video projections. I particularly liked the inclusion of a magazine cut out of some oranges. [extra photos]
Joshua’s own words are a brilliant description ‘awkward, brash and over the top, like an old toy played with ripped and torn’. I was there for loads of time turning handles, peeking through (glory) holes, reading the obscene text scrawled or stencilled onto the walls, turning the pages of an oversized cardboard pop-up book in the middle of the room which is full of erections, inspecting all of the DETAIL.. .. the sculptural fabric dolls are do look as though they’ve been at one point in a hundred pieces and have been ruthlessly stitched back together again embellished with beads, tassels and embroidery. They look a bit like Frankenstein and perform all kinds of sex acts and erotic dances even but the whole lot, even though it can be construed of as ‘naughty’ is also a lot of fun and has a wicked sense of humour. You’re also invited to add (probably something rude) to the graffiti on the makeshift wall of a urinal. [extra photos]
I really liked a video by Francesca Ulivi which centred around ‘a “fantastical”, humorous portrait of middle-aged, affluent men and their rituals in the home.’ I watched it twice. It highlights some of what is daft about certain ‘etiquettes’ and of displays of wealth and power, Ulivi references Silvio Berlusconi in her text about the piece. I really liked a party with one man making a lot of noise by wafting his hands around his head with a load of paper stuck on to them, looking almost manic and the editing too adds a manic level of absurdity by cleverly chopping together repetitively and emphasising some of the gestures of the ‘characters’.
Also above Ozlem Demirel’s neon jungle gym installation, interesting but hard to explain Alan Henry Gardiner, Denise Ackerl is selling off her lawn, Rob Good’s anti health and safety ladder sculpture, Hongshuo Cai unnerving canoe photograph and Shaikha Al Mazrou’s extremely unnerving ceramic and steel balancing act.