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Thursday, 16 October 2008

Turner Prize

I went on Sunday, it was full, and contrary to my expectations and what others told me about the show, I was really impressed.

I'm not sure if this is something that everyone experiences but whenever I go and see shows I tend to only remember what I enjoy, and rather than disliking art I'm usually just indifferent to it and so forget it. Mark Leckey's entry for the show was something special and the most enjoyable aspect of this was his a lecture series he'd given in different locations which were filmed and exhibited. What was really fascinating for me were the connections he made between still images with the development of these into film and animation. The way in which Leckey pulled associations between Fischli and Weiss and the Roadrunner cartoons together as examples of animation's capacity for making the impossible real was completely convincing. This is what made his lectures so compelling: the way in which he made no distinction between what would commonly be delineated using the terms of 'high-brow' or 'low-brow'; an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer becomes three dimensional after walking through a wall behind his bookcase is given the same attention as Jeff Koons' Rabbit or a video by Gilbert and George.

It was this this incredibly pluralistic approach to medium that attracted me so much to Leckey's work and I was drawn to the way in which theories surrounding still image, film, animation and popular culture were made accessible and didn't require specialist knowledge for these to be read; references such as those from The Simpsons or Garfield could make connections with most people in his audience because they are such widespread cultural phenomena. What made the most lasting impression on me, however was a slideshow that had the viewer gradually zoom in on an image reflected in a mirror found in an unnamed room, I enjoyed this so much because it reminded me of a scene in the 1982 film Bladerunner in which Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford is examining a photo in a similar way. I think Leckey must have had this film at the back of his mind whilst making this and I imagine anyone who had seen Bladerunner will have made that connection also.
Seeing Leckey's work in many respects reminded me of why I became interested in art in the first place and why I feel it is important, as something with an enormous capacity to communicate or connect with other people.

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