Now extended until 5 May 2014, Martin Creed’s ‘What’s the point of it?’ exhibition is on at Hayward Gallery in Southbank. Showing on 3 levels including the outside terraces, there’s an example of contemporary art from nearly every discipline: simple sculpture, installations, kinetic/interactive pieces, 2-D works on paper and even video and sound. If you’re suffering from FOMO*, you still have a few more days to see it!
*FOMO = Fear of Missing Out
What does a queue of cacti, a load of balls and a Ford Focus have in common?
Answer: they all lead you to ‘Work No. 200 – Half the air in a given space’. Yep, nearly everybody agrees on this one: it’s all about the balloons. But we’ll get to that…
There’s a lot to see here, so you’ll need at least an hour if you want to zoom through the space. However, I’d recommend that you stay a while, to really spend time with the works that grab your attention.
You might ask yourself, “Is that art?” when you see a wad of Blu-Tack on the wall, next to a little cube made of masking tape. Or the crumpled ball of paper made precious by encasing it in plexiglass box. For that matter, the question might apply to everything in the place. But who’s really asking? The real issue is: are you enjoying yourself? If not, you might be lost and must-needs get you to the bar at the main entrance toute-de-suite! But be careful on your way down; you’ll have to watch out for the swinging ‘Mothers’ just above your head!
Of course, there’s a bit of controversy not exclusive to “Work no. 1029” (the giant penis) [NSFW] on the terrace and the two films, “Work no. 610 Sick Film” [NSFW] and “Work no. 660 Shit Film” [NSFW] on the way out (these are exactly what you think they are, and you can, if you wish, ask for an escort out from a less “offensive” exit). But before you go, consider, isn’t that what art should be? If not controversial then at least begging the question… what IS art anyway?
Finally, if you don’t smile at least once before walk out the door, then you’ve left your fun behind somewhere.
More links and information
- Martin Creed’s official website
- More info about ‘What’s the Point of It?’ – Southbank Centre’s website
- Review: Actually, there is a point to Martin Creed by Adrian Hamilton for the Independent – 2 February 2014 – “Go and enjoy. You will find plenty to surprise, attract and exasperate you without worrying about the deeper philosophical meaning.”
- Review: Tim Adams from the Guardian “Martin Creed: What’s the point of it?“ – 2 February 2014 – Any answer to the show’s rhetorical question is, I suppose, as ever, beside the point. The joke… lies in the attempt to make sense. To those of us who have never found meaninglessness in particularly short supply outside the gallery, the interest in confronting it inside… probably has to depend on the quality of the joke. ….might raise a sort of smile, but beyond that and losing yourself in the balloons, split sides are not guaranteed.”
- Review: “A deliberate wind-up” by Mark Hudson of The Telegraph – 27 January 2014 – 3/5 stars – “Creed’s is an art of smart ideas, but you leave the Hayward feeling there aren’t quite enough of them to fill a gallery of this size.”
- Review by Ben Luke in the Evening Standard in exclusive exhibition preview for “Martin Creed: What’s the point of it?”
- Review in the Telegraph Luxury by Lousia Buck “…brings everyday life into the art world” – 31 January 2014.
- “What’s new, Martin Creed?” – by Kelly Grovier – 5 March 2014
Exhibition details: ‘What’s the point of it? Martin Creed’ at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London SE1 until 27 April 2014 (extended to 5 May 2014). Paid admission, concessions. Step-free access available.