Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

small, far away

As a general rule I would say I find ‘nostalgia’ to be suffocating, and the product of a boring mind. However, the current exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery – Childish Things – is anything but nostalgic, combining interest in the artists’ own childhoods with investigation into their own childrens’ lives.

I’ve been particularly interested in storytelling recently, in particular the beginning/middle/end pattern and where it fits in with contemporary design. I had seen Louise Bourgeois’ handmade Oedipus sculptures before, but this time they brought to mind something a friend of mine said, about there being only seven themes in the history of storytelling.

I took a furtive photograph of the Susan Hiller exhibit, which seems quite appropriate, seeing as it was a film of a Punch & Judy show which is viewed in a very dark room. Admittedly it isn’t too much of a stretch to make Punch seem more seedy, but it was an effective setting.

I was also struck by Paul McCarthy’s huge readymade, which was once a plaything belonging to his children, This thing is incredible; a huge, smiling puppet with anatomically correct internal organs that zip out of his body. I don’t even really want to think about what children would learn from this. It’s interesting to look at the work next to Damian Hirst’s scaled-up anatomical doll, Hymn.

Hirst

McCarthy [and me, for scale.]

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2011 by in edinburgh.
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