Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2006

Blade Factory, Greenland Street
16th September - 22nd October 2006

Reviewed by Adam Ford

If for some reason you want to make yourself profoundly depressed about the future of art in this country, why not visit the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition at the Blade Factory? There, you will be able to see the work of students being churned out by art schools so they can go on the South Bank Show or whatever the equivalent is in forty years and complain that no one took them seriously enough. There's a reason why they will be ignored by most people: they are boring. This is exactly the kind of thing that made William Burroughs call for 'rock and roll adolescent hoodlums' to stir shit up.

Where to begin charting my course through this gallery of sighs, where perfect form combines with emptiness and lack of original thought to produce an exhibition of horrific mediocrity? Well, how about Florian Roithmayr's 'Some Crowned Themselves, Others Stayed Behind' (above). It is a 12' by 10' wire mesh, with what can only be described as strip-light antlers. Then there's Jeremy Willett's 'Stargazing', which is some polystyrene carved into the shape of a tree trunk, except it has been painted to look like a marshmallow cable. Or how about Joshua Bolgos' video 'Cigarettes', which explores the startling revelation that there are subtexts to conversations?

And so it goes, on and on, with invigilators asking each other if it's time to go home yet and gallerygoers shuffling their feet despondently. I know this isn't what art is about. Hopefully you do to. Like your favourite CDs, art is about reflecting the real world and yet transcending it. Art is about communication. Art is about provoking any human emotion other than boredom. Yet for many on the circuit, this is how they make their living. It's no wonder people sit in front of the TV hour upon hour and the galleries are almost empty; exhibitions like these are the ones that get the publicity in the mainstream media, because they are the ones with the money behind them. It can't go on like this, and surely it won't.

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