'Becoming' by Candice Breitz
'Cave Trilogy' by Salla Tykka

Showing at the FACT from May 14th - July 4th

Reviewed by E. Hughes

The first gallery exhibition I looked at, ‘Becoming’, was a bank of television screens with famous actresses like Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz talking away to the camera, from famous movies no doubt. On the other side of the screens, there are movies of the artist, waffling away in black and white, mimicking the dialogue of the actresses. She talks about finding Mr Right, amongst other things. The gallery is pitch black and the only light is from the screens themselves; I nearly went arse over tit!

If I am honest, I wonder how someone gets their stuff into these slightly sniffy and pretentious places, and reckon that, push come to shove, I could produce something more interesting myself, but who is going to listen to a working class lad from Liverpool, when someone called Candice Breitz is around?

The second show I saw, Salla Tykka’s ‘Cave Trilogy’, I was hit immediately by music from the spaghetti western ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ for the first short film called ‘Lasso’. I am a sucker for spaghetti westerns and their music, so am straightaway compelled. The overall images of this short film is a quite pretty girl crying into a window watching a bloke very skilfully jumping into and out of a lasso he is expertly and deftly spinning around.

Again, it seems that so much arty film and gallery stuff is made by and for a small minority of middle class arty people; the British film industry itself, and much of arts and culture in Britain, is often typically created by non-threatening bourgeois types, being a little rebellious before they settle into their middle-income, middle-England, middle class lives. Why do I find so much arty stuff a bit up itself and exclusive? Where are the real rebels, where are the films and art that breathe life and vitality? Where are the working class, the dispossessed, the urban upstarts, those who might bring something new and alive to Britain’s often vacuous and navel-gazing art scene?

1) Is this art for the over-priced coffee-bar set?
2) Pretentious bollocks or great art? You decide.