Thursday, 28 March 2019

200words: goldsmiths cca








Barn-mongering mischievists, neo-romantic rustiquists, crafty darlings of the scaff board lobby, Assemble, have built a gallery in up-and-coming New Cross. Their crumpled tweed jacket of the academe, complete with corduroy elbow patches and chalk dusting looks a smugly erudite, calmly ancient and sober bedfellow to the oily Blairite swagger of Allsop’s plastic grotesque Ben Pimlott building adjacent, leering down from it’s tousled toupĂ©e of steel spaghetti.

Inside the Goldsmith’s CCA, there is a hipster’s charmless charm to the ensemble, hammed up bare brick for Insta gratification, patchworked as a knowingly shanty makeshift in an embarrassment of greys. This textural fry is jarringly juxtaposed, as agnostic miserablism played in aesthetic gymnastics: one part archaeological affectation, one part hilarious Heath Robinson, one part ernestly sanitised White Cube, and the three interface awkwardly, in gobby mastic bodged junctions fudging the issue.

One man’s noble upcycling is another man’s gross nostalgia: they’re both here, clattering a cacophony of heavy-handed light touch interventions that are the creed of the cult of readymade irony. Assemble tarnish, burnish and brandish Duchampian ceramics at an urban scale; a montaged aggregation of found parts give a limpet lichen look to this British barnacle. It is a fusty fetishised fragment of a Frankenbuilding, a shattered shell hole shaded in the long shadow of Ruskin’s rugged Gothic, now revisited in zombieform.

Monday, 4 February 2019