Steven Claydon: The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups (3 stars)

Steven Claydon: 'The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups'

'Zoetrope – The Earth Becoming World'

Cultural cannibalism and dead teeth in Claydon's first Scottish solo show

All that glitters is not necessarily gold in this first solo show in Scotland by Steven Claydon, a former member of avant-electro sleaze merchants Add N to (X), and a more recent shortlistee for the 2016 Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Here, Claydon's new (or are they?) constructions question notions of authenticity and value, be it through a shrine to dead teeth, a similarly worshipful array of multi-coloured gas canisters, or numerous subversions of ethnographic fetishism which illustrate what Claydon calls 'cultural cannibalism'.

Chain-store 'African' heads devour gold-painted packets of pills, as if sanctioned by private medicine millionaires who would hike up the prices of life saving drugs by a thousand per cent. Shredded bank notes - a much more efficient way of dealing with money to burn - are framed as a dappled decorative back-drop. Crocodiles grow out of carved canoes, saved from some biblical flood. All this and the Pink Panther captured against a rug made of bark. Much of this is discreetly highlighted by LED lights, which both make things shinier and put them even more off limits in a plastic palace where nothing is how it seems.

The Common Guild, Glasgow, until Sun 9 Jul.

Steven Claydon: ‘The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups’

Sculptural work addressing the ideas of jeopardy and pressure, in the environmental, cultural and epistemological senses.

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