the nottingham contemporary
|awful stack||Sep 26, 2019|
i am deliciously hung over. and the gallery itself is closed; not the cafe , but the spaces of the gallery . i can see ladders and tools and dust sheets laid down on the expansive floor - all of the temporary , supportive architecture which fills a gallery while an exhibition is becoming ; while it is being installed . most people will never see this, aside from technicians , gallery assistants, curators , artists . assuming that the people who visit the exhibition are not actually already the same people . and in the case of the nottingham contemporary (i have visited ten or more times over the past few years) , i feel there are genuinely a large number of visitors who are not artists or curators or gallery assistants or technicians .
a head moves inside the depth of the window of a belgian restaurant.
in the cafe; its right wall hung with plants (literally, as if they are being judged or shamed or castigated, thrown out from society for spewing pollen, and for dying, unfairly, on us). its garden, or terrace, for it is entirely made of stone and metal, looks out over a concrete bridge which trams trundle gently across; and in the middle distance there is a development, which is mounted with purple cladding; and trees spill over onto the ground, almost touching it in places; and slabs of bright sun are laid down over the floor, casting shadows from the legs of chairs. there are so many photographers out here, today. on assignment. are they students, or amateurs? it's appropriate that the playlist sounds like music designed to heal plants ; soft, a wooden xylophone, and plucked slow strings. perhaps this soothes the plants that have been hung here. i am so very hungover. wine, as ever, does for me what a pickax did for trotsky; it caves my head in, and leaves me elevated + dead, or close to death, for a few hours; hot in sun, and chilled by shadow. but that is ok. i smell paint; spray paint and wood. a sign , outside of the gallery, apologizes for the fumes but - obviously, because i am a cretin - i enjoy fumes. the scent of them. the slick odor. i can't really smell it beyond the entrance, and i begin to wonder how much salt it would take to dry my entire body out , some incan prince. dog hair on my coat on my shoulder i am so fucking hungover , but that is ok, really. isn't it
. i think about a passage from jarman's modern nature, when he sort of lets his mind wander toward london, and touches its edge, and then hovers back, which goes to show that really it is possible to project our minds outside of our bodies, because i really believe that jarman's mind probably did linger at the edges of theatreland for a little while, at the lip of the old kent road, perhaps. whatever. bachelard, auge. french philosophers are stronger on space in its urban eventualities than at nature. i cannot think of anyone except Guyotat who thought decisively about nature, and even then he was more concerned with the places beneath a bridge, or a mattress in a stinking kitchen, and the careful, decorous sex that might be had there . among old pans, soap suds, clean tiles. armpits. evolutions. the sound of the tram can't be heard, but it must be around.
back. caruso st. john, the designers of this project; rippled green walls, pressed with lace patterns (this, after all, was once a lace-making part of the city, as shoreditch was - once - for huguenots escaping france and the definite shape of the persecution they would receive there , after the malignant revocation of the edict of nantes, which had granted them happy peace for a long time) . lace is sexy .
lara favaretto’s 2017 installation at the gallery - an image of it, above - saw its structure wreathed in thick piles of smoke . sometimes the smoke was slight and gentle , while at other times it entombed and made unclear the entire fabric of the building ; softening its edges, at its edges. architecture - and our consumption of it - is perceptional ; and its life extends beyond the mere metallic fact . as rene boer has argued , a building is a process - and not simply the moment of its revelation. it is blanchot’s cadaver ; continually eaten at and unobtainable .a shifting sand, which is a strange thing to admit considering the otherwise solidity of what architecture is and what it represents . .
i’ve not said anything negative or shit-headed or dog-brained about the contemporary , which is out of character.