Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tomas Chaffe

Went to the first show at the new Moot Gallery space to see the opening of the Tomas Chaffe exhibition. I've worked with Tom before on The Quatermass Code, and know that his work often plays with the space of the gallery and other contextual elements. (He also co-organises Via Vaudeville events.)

'Viewer Added Value (Artist Run Gallery)' 2008, Plastic and screws  

The work was all fairly peripheral, but fortunately we were provided with a map so we could hunt the art.  The titles and materials generally tell you most of the story, my favourite being 'Approx. 192 x 1713 x 630mm (The Largest Possible Plinth To Enter The Gallery Space Without Altering The Fabric Of The Building)'. 2008, MDF, white paint and timber.  As you might guess, this was a scuffed plinth placed on its side, that could be ignored as a room divider or contemplated as a minimalist sculpture as you wished.

'Progress Report' 2008 Bound paper document

I feel I should make a comparison with the Martin Creed show at the Ikon at the moment, but as I haven't had time to see it yet, I should probably leave that one hanging: imagine I said something astute about simplicity, humour and the everyday.

'Losing Costs' 2008 Illuminated desk globe and electricity meter

The pieces stand up to interpretations to do with social issues, for example you can draw an eco message from 'Losing Costs', but I'm not sure if this is the most important thing about the work.

'Everything I'd Ever Known Is Behind My Thumb' 2008 6x4" inkjet print

The above print, only makes sense in this show, in the context it is being shown in (it's the same window as in the previous photo). I'm interested in the personal relationship Tom has with the space, with the staff, and with the viewer.  This grounds the experience, makes it specific, and rather than alienating you, draws you in.

In background: 'The Air Between Them And You' 2008 Mirrorpane, clear plastic and frame

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