Saturday, February 05, 2005

Well, it didn't rain after all. The Beuys exhibition was interesting. I got in to trouble for taking a picture of one of the exhibits but I checked and there was no sign anywhere saying photos cannot be taken, so quite what you're supposed to do if you don't magically know about the whole copyright issue I don't know. All seems a bit daft really when there were art students with sketchbooks everywhere. It was all rather spartan, white walls, wooden floor. This didn't really matter, although one of the exhibits, 'Show Your Wound' was designed by Beuys to be exhibited in a 'desolate underground passage in Munich' and I can't but wonder if perhaps an attempt by the curators to recreate that atmosphere might have been more suitable. 'I Like America and America Likes Me' was a video exhibit and very amusing as Beuys is brought to a room in the US to spend three days locked in with a coyote. It's a shame that, although the caption on the screen said the film was some thirty minutes long it only showed the first ten minutes or so, with Beuys feeding the coyote scraps, and we had to rely on the pictures to tell us the rest of the story. It was nice to see the blackboards Beuys used for his Tate lectures from '72, again it's a shame that most of the chalk has been faded and rubbed off by time so their message is unclear (literally rather than figuratively). Similarly, with the last piece 'Economic Values' Beuys intended for the installation to slowly decay over the years and it's now well on the way.

It was an interesting exhibition, though thanks to the generosity (and membership card) of Janina I didn't have to pay to get in. It was rather adrift and context-free, I expect they were intending it to be an exhibition for Beuys fans and art lovers, I left knowing of Beuys work but not really much about the man or what people thought of him. Still, that's why we have Wikipedia.

Then to London Bridge through the enticing smells of the Borough Market. Shame we reached it as it was shutting for the evening. There was a slight hitch trainwise as it seems there was someone walking on the tracks at Old Street, so we had to use alternative means to get to Kings Cross, where we went our seperate ways.


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