Winter exhibitions 18/19 @ Tate Liverpool
Emoji summary: 😵⚰️👻
Hello, I am walking around Tate Liverpool and yes it’s really nice and cosy in here but ultimately I am BORED TO DEATH by their current winter exhibitions because ; everything is relative ; and I’ve just spent December watching Netflix and horror films, eating homemade Korean fried chicken and quite frankly getting personal bests in sex. The art does not compare. I’m looking at these framed pictures and thinking back to how much I enjoyed The Conjuring. n here i am just, dismayed.
There are some large aimless paintings by Alex Katz downstairs. why does he always get dragged out by institutions ? for me, seeing his work is like putting on perfume and thinking oh thats ok but then I immediately can’t smell anything because it’s already evaporated,, acclimatised to the gallery walls like standard default paintings I’ll never remember again. for someone else they might be frankincense and Ylang Ylang but i cant keep hold to make sense of them. On the top floor there’s a ticketed show of work by Fernand Léger and i guess u’d have to be 50 years old to enjoy this because it’s OLD AND BORING with bad palette, shapes and subjects in thick black outlines and dirty dirty colours. coooould not get myself to care. Just because something’s old doesn’t mean it’s good, doesn’t mean u have to force yourself to enjoy it. his way of putting images together goes through me, so bulbous and rusty ! what is the value of this show, except I guess history is being used to justify someone’s practice again. but like, not all history is meaningful, and surely people aren’t buying enough tickets to this to make it even worth putting on. One time, I asked my tutor in uni how people become successful artists and he said it was a war of attrition - the successful ones were simply the last ones standing. tbh TRUE, but how can we make it stop / can’t institutions like the Tate be using their resources to update the face of recognisable art history and show us someone who wasn’t allowed to BE a last standing opponent? Not convinced there’s any POINT to my man Fernand and if these words sound harsh then GOOD because it’s 2019 and I would rather be watching an episode of Brooklyn 99 or reading some more Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang ~ nicer and cosier ~ in the bath. I can sense old white man readers thinking: wow this girl’s immature af, she needs to sit down and read some art history books because this man’s paintings were vital ! to the progression ! of modernist - oh but I don’t care. It’s not getting me off in any way. And these alternatives of me maybe reading a book or using a bath bomb aren’t mutually exclusive and distinct from art, it’s all fair game because I’m writing about how I choose to spend my afternoon and in this instance i made a mistake. Some other things I would have gotten more from: a visit to an arcade, half an hour on the treadmill, tidying my bedroom, seeing the new Spiderman film, lying in bed with my hero boyfriend and seeing only him because I’m very short-sighted and in love.
I was most excited for the Tate’s free show by Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho but then I got there and I wasn’t; three separate films were overpowered by one loud soundtrack, 2 had no seating, and the sci-fi film was like a bland artistiqqq exaggeration of the fairy lights scene in Stranger Things. the newly commissioned film, Anomaly Strolls, of a trolley with bits and bobs inside it pottering around Liverpool and Busan (Korea) of its own accord , jittery and cute , i liked bc it was involved, bright and imo the type of thing that should have been commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial - mhmhm - was good up until again thinking there r just things in the world that are better, namely the Coffee and TV music video by Blur. replace the trolley for a milk carton having a wander with its cute arms and legs lol. I know there is more MEANING in Kyungwon and Joonho’s piece in that the two sites of filming have similar experiences of industry drying up bla bla bla but also you know, sometimes art is as boring as being a tiny child getting made to go school shoe shopping, except i’m my own parent choosing to put myself through this and I shouldn’t try and convince myself I enjoyed something when in the grand scheme of things I really didn’t.
And you know what I did love and want to give a special mention to so you know where the fuck my bar is at right now: The Haunting of Hill House, a 10 part series on Netflix that has genius structure, strong characterisation, and these long steady-cam shots that seem impossible but work towards the whole gross magic of the thing. I watched it in two sittings and was so drawn in that at a jumpy bit I got so much of a fright that I full on SCREAMED at 1am on a wednesday night. my boyfriend said it sounded like I was trying to scare the telly back. I proceeded to cry laughing for ten minutes because I couldn’t believe a tv show had done that to me, I facetimed my sister to show her how much I was crying. art could never. but also it could. i want exhibitions to at least have a go anyway. Like, I hope this year we find atmosphere, emotion, thrill, longing, and intrigue. I want to be rattled and spooked, 2 be dying to go to an exhibition over anything else because i’ve heard so many good things. And the experience we all have with art is only ever going to be pure chance because curators and artists are not tailoring their output to our specific satisfactions but we can hope. ill let you know whenever they happen to get it right.