Thames-Side Studios Gallery: Fatal Attraction (until 26th August 2018)
'Fatal Attraction' certainly has an interesting concept, and although there has been talk from some art critics about having no interest in an exhibition's press release, the text for this show is worthwhile and interesting in its own right. Via curator Chris Thompson, our obsession with over-consumption is addressed critically, alongside ways in which identities and legacies are shaped by an internet presence which is intangible and often hideously disproportionate. Although the release states that "the show is interested in the moment where culture becomes aware of its own autonomous mechanisms", I found the result to be quite the opposite; London-based artist Doireann Ni Ghrioghair presents two sculptural works, curated beautifully far away from each other, of bent, white crooked pillars, evoking economic and, indeed, architectural collapse. There are so many examples of architectural ruins we can think of, both historically and recently, that are connected to various social issues; physical developments surely reflect their political and environmental counterparts.
Appropriation branches off from this, which also extends to the site specific. How Chris Thompson's discreet yet charming installation 'Untitled (Doggos)' would look out of context, much like Billy Crosby's highly functional self-explanatory 'Signage', is an interesting question. Beth Collar's contribution to the show are small-scale sculptures which I've seen before in a much smaller, more concentrated space; I wasn't a huge fan when I saw them the first time but they have somehow gained a new lease of life at Thames-Side Studios. Taking the form of a head sliced in half, the middle-aged male brain with a receding hairline can easily be viewed as a satire of the privileges afforded to this demographic. The concept of them sinking into the ground, losing all senses, exemplifies the overarching themes of bureaucracy and power relations shaping our behaviours.