The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991)Art Craziest Nation

Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, L3
20th August 2005 - 29th January 2006

Reviewed by Kenn Taylor

When my editor asked me to review an exhibition of ‘Lego art’ my mind buzzed with ideas of all the great things those crazy artists could do with Lego - my favourite plaything as a child - and I trundled excitedly down to the Walker, only to be largely disappointed.

A single exhibit rather than an exhibition, ‘Art Craziest Nation’ is the first piece of work by the self-styled ‘little artists’ (John Cake and Darren Neave) – who immortalise iconic artworks and their artists in un-manipulated Lego, and ‘Art Craziest Nation’ is their own ‘mini-exhibition’ of modern art.

The usual suspects of ‘controversial’ art are on show in tiny form; Tracey Emin’s unmade bed, Damien Hirst’s pickled shark, the dead horse hanging from the ceiling, floating basketballs, if it's caused outrage in the Daily Mail they’ve got it. Cake and Neave have also done well to accurately capture in Lego the typical opening night of an exhibition in a major art gallery from the white walls to the poor bastards on minimum wage handing out canapés. You can almost hear people talking bollocks to each other.

The Little Artists apparently “exist in the realm of merchandise, between aggressively marketed children's culture like Pokemon and gallery gift shops, where art becomes a commodity, we question what it means to be an artist in the current super-branded cultural climate.” I seem to recall a fellah called Andy Warhol talking about a similar idea a bit back, but he of course never had the genius to use Lego to make his point.

If you're in the direction of the Walker pop in and have a look and it might raise a smile, but don’t go out of your way. If you want to decide for yourself if Cake and Neave are little artists or little arseholes they give a talk about their work on Thursday 3rd November at 1pm in the gallery.

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