Life – laughing – numbers
Triggered from reading an article about Martin Creed in Aesthetica Magazine issue 57, I hastened myself to the Hayward Gallery in London.
Almost the whole gallery is dedicated to a diverse collection of the artists work. Every room, corner, level, wall and outdoors of the gallery is used to show the many No.’s that plunge you into a different dimension of reality, were everything is seriously humoristic and relative; it all depends how you look at it. The great amount of work creates a big collage that makes the building come alive giving it a heartbeat of movement.
Seducing all your senses even before you can give permission, brought on the pulsing allure of this exhibition that had a lot in common with that of an installation. Sounds make you aware that something is going on in a different place long before you reach it. Like in a big theme park I got really excited to try everything out, noticing impatience taking a hold of me.
My attention was firstly drawn by a clicking sound (Work No. 112: Thirty-nine metronomes beating time, one at every speed, 1995-98) before I could registrar what I was seeing. Searching for its source I encountered my sense of touch by almost wanting to duck out of the way of a big iron bar swooping over my head carrying the immense neon words MOTHER (Work No. 1092, 2011). While this installation was speeding up in its circular motion, I heard a very soft hint of tones climbing up a ladder. By entering the next space it became clear to me that this sound belonged to an actual piano and his player (Work No. 736: Piano accompaniment, 2007).
Knowing now where the sound had come from I lost interest in the actual work, which let me to wonder around in the space till I was watching a pile of arranged boxes (Work No. 916, 2008) when I caught a new sound. Something, that hold the middle between a fart and a sticking out of your tongue to your rivals sound, seemed to come out of all the artworks I laid my eyes on. Upon approaching the different artworks, however, I lost the sound connection, making me move on in the search of its origin. Ending up at a small sound speaker at the bottom of a staircase where I noticed out of the corner of my eye a change in light every other minute.
This switching light led me to enter the second level of the building where indeed the light was switchinh on and off (Work No. 227: The lights going on and off, 2000) to make place for short video clips (Work No. 670: Orson & Sparky, 2007) projected largely on one side of the space. On the other side of the space a sea of broccoli (Work No. 1000: Broccoli prints, 2009-10) engulfed the wall behind glass frames. I got fascinated by the way these frames picked up the switching light as well as the reflection of MOTHER. Her reflection revealed the secret behind her white neon light as with every rotation it showed her blue, green, yellow, pink and purple colours.
Moving up the stairs to the top level I started to see every part of the building as a possible participant of the exhibition. And not soon enough I was turning around when two works men entered the building carrying a bucket and gigantic pickaxe. Was this part of the exhibition or just a happy coincidence?
Turning another corner I encountered moving curtains (Work No. 990: A curtain opening and closing, 2009) that revealed the London skyline and made me go outside to get startled by a living car (Work No. 1686, 2013).
After having entered the exciting and calming balloon room (Work No. 200: Half the air in a given space, 1998) I went down the staircase where I halted at the toilet area because I heard some distinct sniggering, probably the most reassuring sound in a toilet block! Entering the small hall space in front of the toilets I discovered the source: another sound speaker protruded form the wall between the two entrance doors of the toilets.
Arriving at the exit I had a chance to leave all my shit behind by watching people puke and poop on screen (Work No. 503, 2006) in a line carpeted square room: Home.
You need to go and see this unique exhibition in the Hayward Gallery in London extended till the 5th of May!