January 14, 2009

work studies in schools

As if following on from my last comment, I happened to be in the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. The Victor Mann show on the top floor was mostly missable, made even less worth seeing when the visitor stumbled across the ubiquitous school group sitting on the floor. The 'artist-teacher' (not the actual artist) was asking earnestly "did you enjoy doing your drawings?" The group of fine young minds managed only to mumble nothing in particular. And then thankfully they filled out. The attendants began clearing up the mess of graphite they had left on the floor in front of the centre piece art work (the one on the website.)

On the next floor down, seeing the title "work studies in schools", with growing disgust I nearly didn't bother but thank god I did because it turned out to be one of the best shows I have seen in ages. Warm and intelligent, as the website says "remarkable not only for the unique picture it offers of school life in the 1970s, but also for its critical response to the tradition of documentary flm-making." The link gives a good account of Darcy Lange's show:

http://www.ikon-gallery.co.uk/programme/current/event/263/work_studies_in_schools/

and thankfully (and bizarrely) the only children in the space were the kids on the TVs.

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