I’ll Be Your Mirror

Sixth floor of Gostins Building, Hanover Street
13th September – 26th November 2006 (Mon-Sat 10:00-17:00)

Reviewed by Adam Ford

The blurb that accompanies this exhibition promises that it captures 'a sense of a globalised society at the beginning of the 21st century'. That’s globalised with an ‘s’ – not the American spelling that is default on Microsoft Word.

Yes, while the bad old U S of A is trying to conquer the Middle East by force, it is also sending ever more media messengers to convert us to following the idealised American dream. Messengers such as Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, whose film The Wedding Date so infuriated Leo Fitzmaurice that he took a marker pen to an advert for it (above). In doing so, he ‘shows his dissatisfaction with today’s media and commercially obsessed society’. Fair enough.

To be honest, that’s the only picture that seems to fit the blurb’s billing. The rest is just a collection of portraits. The only sense in which they capture a sense of a globalised society at the beginning of the 21st century is that they are a product of that society. There doesn’t seem to be a conscious effort to explore that theme further. That’s fine, just a bit confusing is all.

Take Jemima and Dolly Brown’s Pinkie Brown (right) for example. It’s certainly an interesting one, and my companion nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw it. But its connection to ‘materialism, consumerism, alienation, globalisation and the cult of celebrity’ wasn’t immediately obvious. And it’s not obvious six hours later.

Richard Meaghan’s Sleeper doesn’t exactly scream any of those things either, as a woman rests in the foreground, amidst sunshine, riotous colours and trees.

I suppose David Hancock’s I Wear Black On The Outside might suggest alienation, referencing The Smiths’ Unlovable as it does (the next line is 'Cause black is how I feel on the inside’), and showing a teenage boy looking suitably angsty in his bedroom. But that’s two out of eighteen art works.

Never mind though, it’s well worth moseying on down if y’all have got a spare fifteen minutes. Or visit the exhibition’s blog at http://illbeyourmirrorexhibition.blogspot.com

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