Martin Creed - Things
There isn’t generally a lot of humour to be had in contemporary art exhibitions, but Martin Creed’s new exhibition at the Common Guild can be counted among the finest exceptions. Seventeen of Creed’s works, which are always numbered rather than titled, are exhibited under the wonderfully vague title of Things. The exhibition is beautifully installed, as comes as standard at the Common Guild, even when the work consists of nails in a wall, pot plants or piled up boxes.
Without a careful perusal of the list of works, there’s a risk that you’ll miss several, such as chrome-plated brass protrusion attached to the front door or the crumpled ball of paper in every room. However, there are some you can’t miss, such as the very strange growth on the wall in the hall, and the door that will only open 45 degrees because of a mischievously placed doorstop. Inside the first room the curtains open and close of their own accord. Upstairs a lamp goes on and off. A door is opened and closed by an unseen hand. The house is being haunted by a poltergeist with a sense of the absurd.
Most famous (or notorious) for winning the Turner Prize in 2001, nominally for gallery lights going on and off, Things is a brilliant (re)introduction to Creed’s work – playful, irreverent but always inspired. The Common Guild is a little off the beaten track, but the joyful stuff of Things is the perfect excuse to make the trip.
The Common Guild, Glasgow, until Sat 3 Apr