Simon Bendi - City Head BuildingsEd – an art show by men

Curated by Simon Bendi
Joe Ankarah, Simon Bendi, Will Curwen, Paul Finnan, Tommy Mchugh, Adam Nankervis, Edmund Piper, Marko Stepanov and Samuel Wiesemann
Egg Space Gallery, 16-18 Newington
22nd February - 19th March 2006

Reviewed by Helen Grey

This collection’s theme is described as ‘on me ed son’ and is said to represent some of the insouciance of Liverpool art and diversity of networks around Liverpool. Curator Simon Bendi says: “It is a show where the common notion of PC is deliberately accosted. All the artists in the show are men and have for one reason or another had their voice emasculated.”

The idea of loss of voice is reflected in Will Curwen’s ‘Head One’ and ‘Head Two’. In this piece there are two photos, each one contains an image of a head resting on sheets of plastic. The heads themselves are made from plastic containers and depict a downcast, melancholy expression. Notably neither of the heads contains a mouth, perhaps reflecting how the artists feels his voice has been taken away by someone or something. By using plastic moulded into a human likeness, Curwen is able to express the manipulation he feels at certain situations within modern society.

Simon Bendi’s work - entitled ‘City Head Buildings’ - is a collection of two rows of coloured blocks attached to the wall. Each block is a different colour and has a slightly different texture. This work is reminiscent of the reflection of buildings in the River Mersey. Perhaps Bendi is challenging the grey concrete blocks that are springing up around the city and wishes to change the landscape to reflect something more vibrant.

Paul Finnan’s ‘Beginners Guide to Plastic Surgery’ is a somewhat grimmer affair. This piece consists of a square board covered in what looks like blood vessels and human tissue. On the right hand side there is a side view of a head covered in a similar way. This work is supported by Finnan’s ‘Confessional Box’ - a box covered in the same human matter, containing a crucified body with an overly large skull for head. On top of the box a cross is fixed and several nails have been hammered into the side. This work firmly suggests Finnan’s secular beliefs and his distaste for Catholicism. It explores the relentless repression and repentance that the Catholic Church practices. It’s also very cool to look at.

Several other artists work are also on display at the Egg, though you may have to buy a piece of the lovely homemade chocolate cake while you explore them.

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