A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

'Psycho Buildings' at The Hayward Gallery

I went along to the Hayward Gallery this afternoon to see their Psycho Buildings exhibition.

The exhibition features the work of artists who have tackled the subject of architecture, producing works that are meant to challenge, confound and inspire.

The Hayward Gallery has always been one of the more architecturally unusual buildings in central London so I guess it is appropriate that architecture is taking a prominent role in their main exhibition of the summer as the gallery turns 40. I have always enjoyed wandering around the different levels and different shaped rooms of the Hayward and today was no exception.

The highlights for me were the contributions by Rachel Whiteread, Mike Nelson and Do Ho Suh.

Whiteread's visually stunning 'Place' , a collection of 200 small houses all internally illuminated is the most striking piece. My immediate reaction was how warm and welcoming the piece was but on further exploration it reveals itself to have a slightly eerie quality as all houses are devoid of human life.

Mike Nelson's 'To The Memory Of H.P.Lovecraft' is a dark, brooding, slightly menacing affair, the slashed walls and scattered debris suggesting some kind of dreadful event has just taken place. The ambiguity of the cause only serves to increase its impact.

Do Ho Suh's 'Fallen Star 1/5' is another interesting piece - inspired by his decision to leave Korea in the 1960s to live in New York, it is a model of his home in Korea crashing into the flat he lived in in NY. The real highlight is the detail - nothing is overlooked.

The interactive pieces, although fun, were less effective for me personally. However, the Hayward must be saluted - one of the few galleries who would consider turning part of the building into a mini lake in the name of art. There is also a small cinema showing short films that tie into the artists-doing-architecture theme.

So - another excellent exhibition by the Hayward Gallery. Should we have expected anything else?

No comments: