What’s the point of it? Martin Creed @The Hayward


Following a perilous incident with some rotating neon letters, Garageland reviewer Mary-Claire Wilson explores Martin Creed’s decisively indecisive oeuvre.
Work No. 1092 MOTHERS, 2011
Martin Creed is infamous for winning the 2001 Turner Prize with his Work No. 227 the lights going on and off, the deadpan title of which, as ever with Creed, says it all. 
What’s the point of it? is the first major survey of his art and spans his most minimal moments as well as his extravagant room-sized installations. Creed’s slanted and playful take on what can be placed in a gallery and called art will always be challenging. This is because Creed refuses to make decisions. From this radical stance, nothing can be ruled out, which makes anything possible. His material might be Blu-tack or broccoli. He might paint without looking, or make a sculpture out of toilet paper. He embraces duality and ambiguity. This is the inspiration for his work, its challenge and its reward.

Work No. 79: some Blu-tack on a wall, 1993

The show’s opening piece is Work No. 1092 MOTHERS (2011), a huge wooden beam bearing the word in foot-high neon, revolving just high enough to avoid decapitating anyone. But only just. As well as juxtaposing safety with danger, it forces the viewer to duck as soon as they enter, an affective tour de force; a joke that brings physical jeopardy into the intellectualised gallery space. Films depicting people defecating and vomiting continue to play havoc with our instincts. Pushing duality to its limits, sick is presented as painting and shit as sculpture.

Read the full review here:
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About Mary-Claire W

Writer, reader and art fiend View all posts by Mary-Claire W

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