I've been struggling to get to blog, so thought I'd put these two shows together, a quick comparison perhaps.
Smooth, buttery curls of locally sourced copper rolls, some were slightly lost in the large space, but a couple of pieces were strong on their own. Perhaps it would have been nice to see a Tate Britain Turbine Hall treatment, with a vast sea of copper filling the space. There was also a video by Ortega of typewriters crashing to the ground, which seemed unconnected, but there may have been some reference to the passing of outdated technology and industry.
Casey & McAree's Fucked Arc dominates this show (a curatorial intervention across the 2 rooms at COLONY, creating a version in cardboard of Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc). I'd heard it was going to be even more awkward to get around, but they'd left a gap to get to the loo (too kind of them in my opinion)
These exhibitions are examples of the current popularity of sculpture in Birmingham, despite having different ways of approaching the form, they share a slight sadness at their heart, as if responding to loss and impotence. I'm not sure if I prefer the fairly formal, traditional approach of Being with its subtle references to local industry; or the more overt use of populist imagery and familiar materials in Drunken Boat. I can't help but think that the return to an interest in objects is a sign of the increasing retreat to more commercial possibilities in the current art climate, and I hope that there will still be a place for works that challenge people to change what is going on around them, not just mourn it.