Saturday, 28 July 2018

Having You On by Michael Dean at BALTIC

Approach the usual entrance to Level 3 gallery to be faced with a barbed wire fence preventing entry into the gallery. With some guidance, or by paying attention to other visitors moving through the space, viewers can walk along the side of the installation and then enter the vast expanse of the gallery. I enjoy the manipulation of the audience by the artist - it shows how he has considered how we will look at the work, something I always place importance on when installing my own work.

The installation is one of two halves. Towards the back of the space, individual sculptures made from cheap, accessible, waste materials are given space for us to consider them as separate entities. There are some satisfying arrangements. As we approach the front of the gallery the arrangement becomes denser and it resembles a wasteland of sculptures that are synonymous with popular culture and advertising. Logo's such as National Lottery make an appearance along with street furniture such as lampposts. 

I can't say that I am impressed. I understand what the artist is referencing and he has executed it well, but I see enough of these items on the street as rubbish, and would rather not see them presented in a gallery.

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