16 July 2010

Hostess with the mostest*

So earlier this evening I bobbed by Cornerhouse for the preview of the new art show Unrealised Potential, which starts properly tomorrow and runs until 12 September. It takes up all three galleries, but it seems in the wrong order. Not back to front; more muddled up, really. Normally, I approach things from a rational, logical point of view, and, in the case of the Cornerhouse galleries, if a show is over three floors, I work my way up to the very top where I expect the climactic moment to be had (recently, there were nudey pictures and a sign at the door to warn the faint-hearted). As usual, therefore, I wandered into the first gallery because that makes sense in the scheme of things. It's also where you pick up your drinks token at such events, which is important.

So, in the first floor above the cafe (technically, therefore, the second floor, but let's not confuse things), pinned to the gallery wall are basically lots of nice neat cards printed with ideas for art projects. You know what? I can't be arsed reading them. I've got an aching head from where I banged it on the fridge door earlier this morning and I've had a dog of a week. I didn't come here to squint at 12-point type in a low level of light. I just happen to look at one about Star Wars, but only because I feel I ought to at least try and then the lady next to me whispers to her boyfriend that he'd like it. Underwhelming isn't the word. Sod this, I think, and head straight to the top. For that, apart from anything else, is where I can trade this ticket in for some cold hard liquor. Having snaffled a glass of the rose, I glance around at the work, and I just don't get it. It's like a student art project. Or something in a cutting-edge Berlin creative squat. I can't even be bothered telling you about it. It's not for me; it might be for you - if that's the case, work it out for yourself.

So, I go back down to the middle gallery. I noticed on the way up that it's dark there. I can probably hide in a corner and neck the wine without anyone noticing. When I walk in and the first thing I see is the weird negative video image of a face on the right-hand wall, I even start grimacing. It's like having my teeth pulled out, and I've not had enough of this plonk yet for it to work as an anaesthetic.

But then, THEN, I spot the crazy mesmerising air hostess ladies going about a choreographed routine to really slow cheesy cha-cha-cha music, and all is forgiven. I can't get away; it really pulls me in. And I'm not alone. Well, I was to start off, but by the time I leave, after perusing the maddest display of components (from "bell only" and "cranked handle" to "pressure gauge" and "wafer valve"), the space in front of the screen is heaving. Yes, the "mock business fair pavilion" is a bit bollocks; no, I don't understand the purpose of the chain curtain; but the film is brilliant, and that's really something coming from someone who generally can't stand video installations. It even makes me understand how the rest of the show fits together. See? Not all negative. I might even go back one day to work the rest out.

*Well, what else did you expect?


  1. Nice to see an honest review, yes come back and think & look a little harder, give a bit more of yourself to the show, art isn't entertainment - it's work, may be you could urchase one of the idea's from gallery three and have a go yourself...


  2. purchase one of the ideas...

  3. Gallery one, not three...


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