Smile (2 stars)

Feeble collection riffing off ill-conceived ideas

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Smile

Between the Spangles wrapper psychedelia of its poster to the feeble collection of art in the gallery, Smile does nothing to live up to its name. Riffing off ill-conceived ideas honed from (a misunderstanding of) the Fluxus movement and the writings of Michael Houellebecq, Smile promises edification and abeyance but delivers anything but.

There’s so little to like in the exhibition it’s difficult to know where to start. On entering the subterranean space you encounter Michael Krueger’s ‘Lil Buggie’, which are teenage drawings on paper of naked people on graffiti-covered rocks. Into the main gallery and the one decent piece, Sach Kahir’s ‘Mick Jagger Hates You’, is an installation of three TV screens on top of each other screening slowed-down 1960s footage (Altamont possibly), while the bottom screen presents the sunshine hippie dream. It’s sub-Douglas Gordon but this artist at least shows promise.

To the left, on a small screen, Michael Krueger’s animations are amateurish and on the back wall Sophie Lisa Beresford’s photograph portrait ‘Hindu Goddess’ is just a pointless and lazy self-portrait. Which brings us to Ronnie Heeps’ round ‘Kaleidoscope’ paintings with their fish head, tentacle and stamen forms. They are pretty and bold for sure, but in this grubby space, bad karma smothers them.

Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh until Sun 28 Aug

Smile

  • 2 stars

Contemporary art from Michael Krueger, Ronnie Heeps, Sacha Kahir and Sophie Lisa Beresford.

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