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More ‘Fragile Beauty’

One of the greatest pleasures of attending an art exhibition with Wendy is her reaction to the more pretentious object labels.

There was a moment in Madrid’s Reina Sofia when, after reading a particularly florid text, she just said ‘I don’t have the bandwidth for that’ and turned on her heel. It’s usually hard to disagree.

Wendy wasn’t able to attend ‘Fragile Beauty’ at the V&A with me, but when I read the label accompanying Richard Caldicott’s untitled triptych, I did wonder what she’d have made of it:

Richard Caldicott’s red, yellow and blue triptych playfully transforms everyday objects – in this case Tupperware food-storage containers – into a sea of colour. The artist’s choice of primary hues references classic colour theory, underpinning hundreds of years of optical experiment. To stand in front of Caldicott’s photographs is to be confronted by a field of light refracted by luminous kitchenware.

I think she may well have furrowed her brow and exclaimed: ‘But why would you want to be confronted by luminous kitchenware?!’

Fragile Beauty continues at the V&A until 5 January next year.

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‘Fragile Beauty’

I went to see this overcrowded exhibition of photographs at the V&A. It’s an oddly curated selection of photographs from the Elton John and David Furnish collection.

The blurb claims that the exhibition ‘tells the story of modern and contemporary photography’—I don’t really think it did.

There were a lot of brilliant and arresting images in the collection, but there didn’t seem to be a thread, story or argument to the curation. Perhaps there wasn’t supposed to be—perhaps the point is just to appreciate the photographs. I found it a bit unsatisfying.

But here’s something I took away: four images of the American flag from different time periods. I think this is an interesting series to contemplate: I’d have displayed them together, but the curators had other ideas.

So take the following series of images as some guerrilla curation—and perhaps the series will play on your mind as it has on mine.

Untitled by Larry Clark, 1971.

American Flag by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1977.

Flag by Mitch Epstein, 2000.

Untitled (confetti #8) by Roe Ethridge, 2012.

Fragile Beauty continues at the V&A until 5 January next year.

This post was filed under: Art, , , , , , , .

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