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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Mindfuck? I'd Rather be in an Episode of Girls

Sex and Death , 1985
After spending all day with contemporary art I decided to venture to a commercial gallery to see ‘Mindfuck’, hoping to find an adult and more complex version of Light Show, but the bulb was dim.

Bruce Nauman at Hawser and Wirth is meant to be an anxiety driven and psychoanalytical show, with a reflection of anthropology, but like a bad one night stand my mind was not fucked merely satisfied. However, I admire Nauman's aims, trying to convey the ideas of mind, body and spirit through contemporary art is difficult and if this was showed through the five pieces I would come away feeling elated.

The individually  interesting pieces filled the small gallery space easily whilst four gallery assistants played on their phones, occasionally looking up to mutter 'no photography' the space didn't feel like a thought provoking environment but instead just empty.
Untitled, 1971.

I found only two pieces that poked a reaction and made me feel  slightly uncomfortable 'Untitled (Helman Gallery Parallelogram)'1971 and 'Carousel' 1988 .Untitled was definitely panic attack provoking, upon entering the room you walk towards a green light in a subtracting corridor, hopefully fitting through the space in my winter coat and bag I felt anxious. On entering the green lit room it looked as if there was little way to escape, but the 'exit' on the other side of the piece also narrower on attachment to the room however seemed slightly more thrilling as it lead out to 'Sex and Death 1985' the poster piece for the exhibition. Carousel was perhaps the most disturbing piece, spinning and showing mannequins of cats and dogs seemingly being dragged along did make me want to look away awkwardly, but I didn't feel that it really encapsulated the promised 'Mindfuck'

Carousel 1988.

Maybe a day working in a gallery made me feel less inclined to be positive about this exhibition but I do love art that makes you feel something, and interacts with your psychology but with so much 'shocking' contemporary art naming a commercial gallery exhibition 'Mindfuck' was a bit presumptuous.

Next time a gallery promises my mind to get fucked I expect it to be something out of 'Girls' like when Marnie gets trapped in Booth Johnson's TV installation, and is made to watch snippets of 'True Blood'.

Bruce Nauman, Mindfuck is on until 9th March at Hauser and Wirth, London Saville Row.

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