Tuesday, April 07, 2009

ST James Park and ICA

I decided to put some work into the Pastel Society open this year at the Mall Galleries and as it was a sunny day to wander into ST James park. Unfortunately they were dredging and doing work to the lake, which was fenced off. But the trees were coming into leaf and the cherry blossom particularily lovely.

I was taking photos as I walked around, noticing all the flags around too, probably because of the G20 summit. Although the fountains in Trafalgar square were also out of action due to cleaning, there was one of the new art works on the fourth plinth, A colourful design in light reflecting glass for a hotel, by Thomas Schutte, something they call a concept piece I think.
Later this year Antony Gormleys work One and other, involving hundreds of people standing on the plinth for an hour at a time will be there. You can register to be one of the people occupying the plinth for an hour here

At the ICA there was an exhibition of Sean Snyders work, Index, including video installations and photography. Downstairs was a series of images of storage media from Snyder's archive, along with experimental test prints. A video installation showed a film made from a Soviet propaganda film and an art history lecture re-edited and disrupte. It was quite thought provoking, what struck me most though was the sort of certainty that was apparant in the Soviet educator's face and attitude. What we do if we are so convinced by ideology.

Upstairs were two more video installations one Afghanistan circa 1985, is a short film showing footage from the Soviet occupations of Afghanistan. Somewhat incongruously it shows Soviet troops embracing and dancing with Afghanis while their vehicles and weapons are in the background. The other film Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyoto, Mars incorporates footage from the recent American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Sean Snyders voice over tracks the brands of the title involvement with the wars and uses footage from all sorts of footage.

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