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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

248: No Offence Intended exhibition recap

BLANKSPACE, 43 Hulme St, M15 6AW
No Offence Intended is now fully stricken from a BLANKSPACE awaiting the next exhibition, Perception/Deception curated by No Such Thing Collective.  Perception/Deception opens with the big launch on 7th April 2011 6pm-9pm (with all the free booze you’ve come to expect from shows at BLANKSPACE), and continues 8th until 17th April during usual BLANKSPACE opening hours.  More about this at a later date.  And unfortunately this is probably the last of our shows by groups using the ‘no’-something-something template of naming.

No Offence Intended put on a great show, that all at Blank Media Collective were extremely happy with.  In two previous posts I’ve documented three of the exhibitions installations (here and here); now let’s take a quick look at the rest of the show.  You know; for prosperity.  All the work had to be seen and heard (and smelt, and talked to) to fully appreciate, but photography is a tried and tested documentary medium, and who am I to argue.  The photos in this post have been provided by Chuman Chu ManChu (check out his blog Chuman’s Interactive Arts for photography, animation, art, and the like).

First up, if walking up the stairs at just the right time, you would hear part one of Runa Begum’s installation, ‘No two men sound the same’.  Every half an hour the Islamic call to prayer can be heard cascading down the stairs; here lovingly recorded as a photo of some speakers on a shelf, perfectly missing the point.  Further into the exhibition, behind a curtain, in a pitch black room one hears subtly quiet prayer recitation in Koranic Arabic, and sees a tiny spotlight picking out a compass.  Using the compass one can orientate east to find the Kaaba in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest site in Islam.  The room is disconcertingly dark on entering and I couldn’t tell if anyone else was inside, but after the eyes adjust it becomes peaceful and welcoming.


Adam ‘Monty’ Renshaw and Joe Nowacki’s collaboration is a unique piece of art, the like of which I have never seen before.  An image is projected onto a large square of Perspex, from which juts an object like a crashed plane or a stylised bird sitting atop a totem pole.  From the back the projection looks like a technical drawing of a Jeffries tube, but when viewed from the other side at just the right time, the piece comes to life.  The projection animates creating the illusion of the totem bird flying from its perch, circling and then returning.  Technically this is quite an achievement and I want to see development of this idea.  Extra points for including a Black & Decker Workmate in the set-up.  Manly.


In the far corner we can see Kay Woodley’s morning routine in her video and sound installation, My Morning Routine.  She has captured to scenes and sounds that she religiously adheres to every morning.  It’s a self-portrait which doesn’t show the subject.  Here again we have the problem of a photo not truthfully representing the actual work.  I vote for a youtube video.  Seconded.


Marcin Wozniak’s Light is another dark room with mesmerizing content.  Stepping through the black curtain one is dazzled by the light of the projector staring back at you.  Once you move in and look back at the slowly living image thrown onto the curtain your pupils can comfortably settle.  We see subtly shifting lines of light and dark, slowly swirling motes of dust, and gradual movement.


Back in the main room is Sonny Barker’s sculpture Mother Create (here modelled by Sonny Barker).  It’s a hastily cobbled together splash of cardboard, wood, black paint and builders foam, and it looks great.  It tells of a relationship between a protector and carer giving birth to chaos and destruction; cyclical waves of life and death.  Through the patchy paint I can see the tape holding it together, and the flaps of the boxes it is formed from.  Peering up inside through the birth canal I can see the inner workings.  It was constructed in the space; click to see the making of Mother Create at Sonny’s Blog.  When I first saw it in a still unfinished state it reminded me of a quote (which I attribute to Sarah Lucas but can’t remember if this is accurate) “When something is good enough, it’s perfect”.


It’s sad to see the end of our first external exhibition, but roll on the next one.


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