CCA, Glasgow, until Sat 10 Nov
DRAWING, PAINTING, FILM AND SCULPTURE
There seems to be little or no relationship between the works showing at Feral Kingdom in the CCA – all conceptual and aesthetic decisions seem almost arbitrary. It is true that most of the work focuses on the figure, which is refreshing, but the exhibition hangs together like – at a push – a not-bad postgraduate outing. The gallery text informs us that the seven artists involved are interested in ‘fluid and plastic forms’, which is almost as vague as saying ‘artists are interested in art’.
Some of the work indulges in a parodic B-movie style, where an unexamined misogyny is allowed – irony makes everything bland and palatable. The main culprit is Dr Lakra, whose faux-naïve 50s-inspired tattoo designs and paintings are only fleetingly interesting. His sprawling mural acts like a collage of uninspired Americana and Mexicana, a hotchpotch of boil-in-the-bag cultural influences that requires no thought and inspires little joy. Why two ploystyrene post-minimalist forms by Lolly Batty are plonked down in the same room is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s because, like Dr Lakra’s work, spectators can easily walk quickly past her ‘Untitled (Pavilion A and B)’ without thinking too deeply.
It would be unfair to dismiss all of the work on show so glibly. Matthew Stone’s and the The-O’s film installation forces you to stop and experience the work, which runs for about seven minutes before repeating. A figure lies in some kind of state of torpor as glitter (the title of the film) rises from the form, exposing a male torso. Does this signify some kind of ascent, a process of enlightenment that leaves the figure newly exposed and infant-like? Step far enough back from the screen to consider this and the intrusive electronic farting of Bladvin Ringsted’s Theremin will stop such ethereal thoughts.