Critical Décor: Doomed to fail? Or a needed change?

By Alex Marnelakis

The Lanchester Gallery has opened with their most controversial programme yet; ‘Critical Décor: What works?’. The programme is set to challenge and critique  Art exhibitions; citing them as destroying the Art industry. Sadie Hawkins, the curator of the project noted that exhibiting artwork in full makes Art ‘merchandise that serves the market’ as opposed to being about ‘Intellectual rigour’ with more emphasis on distribution as opposed to the production behind art.

Lchp pOSTER The event was built up through a series of monthly posters by artist Joseph Peacock that contain long, critical statements towards exhibitions. The posters critique exhibitions as “Dull” and “Unnecessary.

This stance on exhibitions could mean a much-needed revolution in the Art Industry or a “Death sentence” to the LGP. Some may disregard the LGP for it’s unique view towards an everlasting feature within the Art industry, Sadie Hawkins even stated that ‘Critical Décor’ could mean LGP’s obituary given the irregularity of the event in its critique of the art industry. LGP are known for not actually showing artwork in full, instead providing live performances on stage and keeping a life sized drawing of Courbet’s ‘Shakespeare’ in a closed drawer within the gallery.

This tells us that conventions are ever changing and can be quite easily rethought and undone, the exhibition, being especially relevant to the Art industry is easily disregarded within the confines of the LGP. This Directly contradicts galleries such as the Herbert, which has been running for 50 years and engages in the nostalgia and history of previous Artwork especially with it’s most recent event ‘Sculpting the body’ which commemorates clay models and exhibiting artwork in full.

When speaking about student’s involvement, Hawkins noted that LGP began with her as a curator amongst several art and design students and have assisted with technical and artistic tasks.  Students have also enjoyed the benefits of working with LGP by having access to artists of projects and exhibitions. The LGP’s stance is bound to give Art and design Students greater insight into the world of Art.

 

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