SUNSHINE! London in the sunshine is glorious.
It is possibly my favourite place to be in the sun, forget your beach holidays or countryside walks there is just something about finding a little suntrap in some barely-green square outside a Pret. As horrific as it sounds it feels great.
Something else that the sun allows you to do is wander. For those in the West end it’s from Topshop to Zara. In the East end it’s from gallery to gallery. That sounds terribly pretentious but I actually did it so I’m not pretending…
Hold your judgments and remember I am an art student and still have the luxury of taking the morning off to be a wanker and look at art. Anyway, a friend invited me to a private view but an essential trip to Ikea (degree show preparation is well underway by the way) had meant I could not attend. However, I thought that I had better go and check out the exhibition regardless.
A ten-minute walk from Old Street and you reach the Curious Duke Gallery and if you can get there before Sunday you will be able to see Dirty Linen presented by an emerging collective called XAP which is a nice little abbreviation for Cross Arts Projects.
The exhibition shows new works by the collective including prints, photography, drawing, installation and video. The title of the show refers to the collective’s invitation for us, the public, to bring along our ‘dirty linen’ and air it out for all to see. A washing basket and clothesline is where we can confess, via a tick box system, to our own dishonesty, obscenity and slightly larger and more serious ‘embarrassments’ such as robbery or murder.
Today, everybody loves a hash tag and #dirtylinen allows all of us to get involved in this confessional revolution at home.
It is an interactive and light-hearted concept, however it divisively allows some of the artists to tap into their own much wider discourse. For example, Liz Sergeant’s video joins together found images with the Sweet Honey in the Rock song ‘Are my hands clean?’ to drive home the injustice of the cotton industry that the Grammy-nominated group write about in their song.
The exhibition also involves work that demonstrates the continuing practice of this up and coming collective. Notably one work involves a time-delay camera that enables you to inhabit the animated chaos on screen. (I’ve pointed myself out in the piece below – larger version of image without arrows can be found in the gallery :])