Sunday, 11 December 2011

Modern Toss

Where: Imitate Modern Gallery, Marylebone
Verdict: Go see it
When: 9-18 December 2011

What is it?  Drawings, posters, cartoons, and one installation piece all displaying the same puerile and childish sense of humour of the artists – and I mean that in a good way.

My opinion:  This exhibition is set in a road just off Harley Street in an area not associated with art and it’s hidden away on a side street.  The gallery itself is small but possibly due to its secluded nature it wasn’t the busiest when I went to see it on a Saturday afternoon.

The first piece that hits you and the one that is the centrepiece of this exhibition is the periodic table of swearing; an interactive table top with over a hundred offensive words and phrases. All visitors hover over the table with a sense of trepidation, as you know the sound will travel throughout the gallery, before plucking up some courage and picking one of the least offensive words.   The joy of this installation comes in the serious tone that the word/phrase is spoken and the highlights are the made-up phrases that don’t make sense, such as ‘a*seholes for goalposts’.   All the columns of elements are related to each other and get worse as you progress downward much like properties of the same group of elements in the actual periodic table do for reactivity and other properties.  So where the halogens would normally be, you have the word tit and variations of it in the same column.  This piece was the favourite amongst visitors and it set the scene of what to expect for the rest of the exhibit.

Other works in the same vein included a picture of Piers Morgan on the front of a book title ‘Britain’s biggest c*nts’ – ‘soon to be made into a TV series’.  My favourite has to be the punctuation networking event, as it has a clever sense of humour about it – the @ symbol remarking that he got lucky and now has steady work thanks to the guy who invented email.

This sense of humour is present in all of the works and it can be a little hit and miss but it’s done knowingly so you can’t help but get swept up in the inanity of it all. It helps that it’s a small selection on display as you get the feeling that too many of these kinds of works in one viewing would start to grate – something I refer to as the ‘Family Guy effect’.  I should point out that I’m using asterisks to clean this review up but the exhibit doesn’t hold back so if you’re easily offended by crude language, this may be one to avoid.

Prints of most of the works are on sale and reasonably priced (for limited editions), but if you don’t want to spend so much there are a selection of £2 postcards available.

It’s a very limited showing, both in size and time on display, but definitely worth going to see while you still can. 

No comments:

Post a Comment