Glasgow is bursting at its gray-sky seams this week with openings, and filtering through all of them has been a bit like searching for the prize in the bottom of the Cracker Jack box – you know it’s there somewhere, but there’s a lot of familiar – although tasty – fluff to get through first.
Take for example, Gary Rough at Sorcha Dallas this month. Gary’s got balls, or at least a ballpoint pen.
The ‘Failed Pattern’ series on display at Sorcha Dallas reminds me of what I wish I could have accomplished in 5th grade detention doodles, and maybe that’s just what his 5 weeks in the small confines of Sorcha Dallas felt like. I keep going back and forth on whether the work is a self-aware, comically pathetic rip on audience and art institution alike – an I-can’t-believe-you’re-buying-this-either quip – or if it is really meant to ‘explore the psychological resistance that ensues from deliberately forcing mistakes’ as the press release claims. To me, that reads like over-analyzed art-jargon, but maybe the description of a ‘practice in failure’ is right on the money.
And that’s not necessarily meant to be scathing! There’s a lot of interest in practicing failure.
Take this for instance:
This is David Sherry performing Drinking on One Side at Embassy Gallery in Edinburgh, which is just one of many gems from his work. Others have included hiring a hygienist to brush his teeth every morning at 9AM for one month, or thanking shop owners profusely to the point of what he describes as ‘confrontational politeness’.
David gets failure, and comedy too. His work is a much needed oasis, causing laugh-out-loud moments in an all-too-often buttoned down art world. While a bit tongue in cheek towards the memory of oh-so-serious performance art titans of the 70s / 80s, he matches their seriousness through his considered and deliberate execution of witty ways to fail upwards. He’s like a mashup between David Shrigley and Chris Burden for the 2010s, and I’m enjoying the remix.
Take a stroll through his website here – you won’t regret it!