Culture Tip: The Martin Creed Exhibition
Turner prize winner Martin Creed’s boundary annihilating art has been brought together for an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in the first major survey of his work. Creed’s irreverence bleeds into every aspect of this multi media exhibition. From listening to music in the lifts to watching a girl defecate on screen (we’ll get to that later), What’s the point of it? is an immersive, and at times invasive, cultural experience.
Creed’s art endeavours to celebrate the unsung heroes of daily life. He deconstructs and rearranges our everyday experiences to allow the invisible structures that drive our lives to come to the surface. This begins from the moment that you enter the exhibition, faced with a giant rotating neon sign spelling ‘MOTHERS’. You are literally almost hit over the head with what is arguably the most significant shaping force in life.
even Blu-Tack is given a moment to shine, as opposed to forcing it into its subordinate role of supporting act. Creed forces the viewer to come face to face with what all humans are compelled to create. ‘Sick and Shit’ are two films that confront this, as two women proceed to perform these bodily processes on camera. Creed explains: ‘living is a matter of trying to come to terms with what comes out of you ... That includes shit and sick’. The resultant repulsion from the films offer a contrast to the playful relief of the balloons room, entitled 'Half the air in a given space'. Viewers can run around in a room of white balloons, a celebration of the beauty of air.
Not all of the work is as ostentatious. Creed is interested in highlighting what we deem to be irrelevant in our lives; even Blu-Tack is given a moment to shine, as opposed to forcing it into its subordinate role of supporting act. Of all the exhibitions and galleries that I have traipsed around in my lifetime, I have never seen the people with the deliriously mundane job of telling you ‘not to touch the art’ look as happy as those guarding this exhibition. Part of this can be attributed to their own opportunity to take centre stage, as the guards take turns to have a tinkle on a piano. Nothing, and no one, is left unnoticed in this exhibition.
What’s the point of it? is as much a celebration of life as it is a celebration of Martin Creed. His versatile style empowers the invisible structures, as well as the viewer, in this glorious, gory and gleeful exhibition.
What's the Point? at the Hayward Gallery is running until 5th May.