|Abstract or Description:
'What, in the end, makes advertisement so superior to criticism? Not what the moving red neon sign says - but the fiery pool reflecting it in the asphalt.'
Benjamin, One-Way Street
'The parade has nothing to do with women, everything to do with men... Women are simply the scenery onto which men project their narcissistic fantasies.'
Mulvey, Visual & Other Pleasures
With invested irony, Simon Bedwell makes drip paintings from used advertising posters, in a messy conflation of an 'abstract' language deconstructed to the point of bathos, and the full-colour, pouting, literal end of corporate seduction. There is a melancholy to these actions, too: imminent replacement by plasma screens makes paper advertising as redundant as the flaccid, glistening gestures they're covered with.
'The Department store is, in a sense, the poor-man's art gallery … there, people do not feel themselves measured against transcendent norms, that is, the principles of the life-style of a supposedly higher class, but feel free to judge freely, in the name of the legitimate arbitrariness of tastes and colours.'
How do we value the things we surround ourselves with? Women are supposed to care for such things, whilst men - whose manliness is guaranteed by being outside, busy, working - involve themselves at the risk of revealing a lack of robustness to their heterosexuality. To gender a man's space is to sexualise it; there are only the most simplistic corporate models for the (hetero) male's interior. If to display is unmanly, what are the things men should have around them? Conflating department stores and bachelor pads, lifestyle shops and lofts, sexual consumerism and museums, Simon Bedwell will exhibit a series of new compositions: objects found, made and adjusted, in walk-through, still-life arrangements of banal, desultory precision.