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ICA on Saturday 30th March 19 Morag Keil installation  


I really wanted to enjoy this exhibition but, as I'm sure you can tell, I came away feeling underwhelmed and deflated about the art world in general.  Harsh I know but I'm a bitter old crone so I can boldly brazen these things out!  We read that, for example, the sheep shape holding a bucket full of toy cars is meant to represent Morag (who was one of the pre-Dolly cloned sheep - who knew?) taking back control.  Having climbed several of the beautiful stairs to reach the rest of this show, I was excited by the opportunity to rest awhile and listen to inspiring and philosophical utterances by the artist: no.  He told me what I had already read on his leaflet.  This information had already disappointed me as I had previously interpreted some of the installation using my own perceptions, eg the machine in front of the video of people shopping symbolised the repetitive state and dependence on regular shots of their favourite drug, but it seems I went too deep with this one.

In contrast, the Essay Film Festival  (run by the ICA) was rewarding and certainly fascinating not only for its content but also as points of historical information. I went to see a double bill of films by Bo Wang and Pan Lu exploring the colonial history and contemporary culture of Hong Kong.  If I could spend more time in London this week I would go to as many of these films as possible.  Having recently started working with my own footage, I found the use of every day situations as a focus felt like watching performance.  Even though this was on film I was aware of a personal tension as people walked about their day, walked around exhibitions or petitioned for suffrage, almost as if it was live performance.

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