A few weeks' ago, my regular art date, sitdowncomedian, and I went to the Martin Creed show at the Hayward gallery. We were both struggling a little, heavy hearts for different reasons, but found it the perfect antidote.
Until this point, it's only ever been catalogues, a few displays in group exhibitions/biennales/etc and a ramshackle live performance at Goldsmiths.
Succinctly, it's a show about ascendence (and descendence).
In as many ways you can possibly think of.
Yet because of the size and the purity of it, it's not cluttered or overstated. Which feels an odd thing to say about a show that repeatedly speaks about the same thing over and over and over again.
But because he comes at it from a variety of facets, it's clear and pure and crystalline in form.
A diamond says the same thing about carbon over and over again and is brilliant and dazzling, without being bloated or overstated.
This show is like that.
Perhaps I am guilty of overstating.
Anyway, without giving too much of the show away, you can look forward to highs and lows, ups and downs in a gorgeous cascade of variety, including:
Towers of boxes (ascending space)
Up and down, up and down, again and again and again.
It sounds like a Doctor Seuss book in visual form.
Perhaps it's exactly like that - filled with direct poetry, profound ideas and joy joy joy for the hell of it.
The wall of tape - which was sort of like a colour spectrum, but more linear. And ridiculous. And reminded me of friends who have tape obsessions (Hi Julia, Phiroze and Gemma!);
And, the great wall of broccoli prints, which lead me to fantasising about being Martin Creed's Broccoli Assistant:
with the business card:
Martin Creed Studios
See? the exhibition takes you to some absurd places, without being obtusely, or disrespectfully ironic (everyone knows how much I fucking hate irony as the core of an artwork). And because it is so generous, it also leaves plenty of room to dislike works without feeling left out or hating the whole show.
Like all good art shows should.
In fact, this added exterior perspective of the show was great and not something I had seen in many shows at the Hayward. It was a reflection of an exhibition which concerned itself with entirety.
From the outside 'car park', you could see the image of the dogs on the side of the opposite building, and from the section with the wall, you looked towards the towers of The Shed and the Tate Modern - similar to structures seen instide. (I did have a little wish that the tower of the Tate Modern had been painted in a colour spectrum by him, so it would tie all in nicely across that southern bank.)
Anyway, you should go and see the show. I'm going back for seconds soon.
*I always call him by his full name Martin Creed. Just Creed or just Martin seems weird to me.
image: pinched from the martin creed site itself.