Martin Creed : Work No. 547
28 April – 27 May 2006
In his work Martin Creed (born in 1968 in Wakefield, Great Britain, residing in London and Alicudi, Italy) brings Minimalism, a concept forged in the sixties and seventies, to a pinnacle. With systematically reduced gestures and a renouncement of everything that looks like art, Creed seeks to simplify things. His works follow basic concepts, simple conceptual structures and clear installation directives. The reaction of the viewer is a constitutive component of Martin Creeds work, which carries forward Durchamp’s approach to artwork: that it is complete only upon its reception. The simplicity of Creed’s works sharpens our awareness of the complexity of thought processes – processes that are concerned with their own reception, the experience of space, and how we encounter and use objects. Creed’s most recent video installation, ‘being sick’, also follows in this tradition. In an endless loop, the film depicts vomiting as ideal gesture to express feelings in as direct a manner as possible.
The colorful, small-format canvasses of painter Mathew Weir (born 1977, living in London) depict opulently costumed figures in historical livery, who appear to emerge from another time. Weir has mastered a playful take on historical symbols and the clever interplay between his motifs and art-historical innuendo. The harmless, disarming pictures of porcelain figures clearly alter their motifs upon second glance. The ostensible complaisance of cheerful genre-scenes, upon a closer inspection, give way to an unsettling, even abysmal ambiguity. The figures, with course facial expressions and limbs, as if they had been quickly formed from clay, become etched into our memory, where they proceed to mutate into grotesque scarecrows or pitiful, forgotten junk. In plurivalent allusions to current cultural ideals and fears, questions of racism and exploitation are broached. However, Weir suggestively and artfully withholds definite statements and eschews explicit categorizations.