That Shadow of a Shadow at The Old Brompton Gallery
The artists’ collective Male Intensive Enquiry Unit (Male IEU) present work drawn from life for their inaugural exhibition.
I enjoyed this exhibition, the freshness of the artists’ various views was striking, the media modern and the diversity of scale of work exercised the eye, from Ali Zaidi’s intimate miniatures “Receive”, “Consent” and “Give”, to Graeme Messer’s life-size work “I’m here” which dominated the gallery space and in front of which he gave a live performance in matching grey hoodie and trackies. In some way the easiest work to approach - making the connection between Leonardo da Vinci’s “L’Uomo Vitruviano” (c. 1490) and a crucifixion - his performance emphasised (paradoxically) the humility of the artist in front of his own portrait, ie the shadow of the shadow.
Should there be a poet in the Lunar Village, why are there so many exoplanets and why are they so diverse? Intriguing questions discussed at UCL’s first session of its Space Week; also how to distinguish between useful technology actively disposing of debris in space or identical technology being used in a hostile way to disable satellites.
GPN London’s first film festival featured a wide variety of art film styles taking us on a journey starting from Davids’ showering movie, heckled with shouts of “watch out for Norman” (as in Bates, see “Psycho”), clearly his GoPro is actually waterproof.
Matt’s fetishistic detail shots of leather and skinhead boots in slow motion.
Kam’s short film for “Drinks of London” featuring detail shots from London’s South Bank lovingly depth layered and edited very tight and punchy.
WA’s “Alchemist”, portraying a highly symbolic initiation with implied chems, between a tattooed man and a smooth-skinned athlete; intimate and erotic but not overtly sexual.
Jon’s deconstruction of the static and dynamic form and textures of body skin and surfaces using hard video keying.
And finally a segment of Stephen’s documentary work-in-progress about his childhood upheaval when his family uprooted from Ireland, a searing experience to which many gay people may relate.
The interest in a survey of photography in India since 1857 is that it is initially a distillation of British photography which then takes on its own life after national independence.
The Science Museum in South Kensington isn’t where I would expect to find a photography exhibition but this is part of their season “Illuminating India”. We get a chronological survey starting with documentary images of destruction of the Lucknow uprising (1857); these albumen prints, used as source for engravings for journals and magazines, led to a fashion for “Mutiny tourism”.
Thirty-eight photographers exhibiting in Hackney Wick, some their first public exhibition, some well-known names showing their private work, some their commercial work. Many intriguing, thoughtful images from voices that aren’t seen/heard widely enough. If the art world is to discover another Mapplethorpe to celebrate then maybe it will be one of these photographers or another from the 4000-strong Gay Photographers Network.