‘Fetish’ covers a wide range of concepts from the ‘fetish’ of the Amazonian medicine man to the images of men and women in thigh length kinky boots who parade in websites like alt.com and fetishwombat to name but two. The Spencer gallery’s permanent collection ‘Unbinding the fetish’ is an attempt to put ‘fetish in perspective.
What is a fetish? How has the meaning of the term changed in our contemporary world? How do our perceptions of fetishes influence our interactions with the material world, other people, and even ourselves? Drawing on works from the Spencer’s permanent collection, Conversation VI: Unbinding the Fetish examines evolving perspectives on the fetish by exploring the relationship between the body and the object.
The second section complicates the issues presented in The Glove. Our current understanding of the fetish relies heavily on the psycho-sexual research of Richard von Krafft Ebing (1840–1902), who observed that fetishism is “the association of lust with the idea of certain portions of the female person, or with certain articles of female attire.” But is fetishism limited to a shoe, or a glove for that matter? Or is it about the foot? Perhaps fetishism is about something else entirely?
In her book, Cultures of Fetishism (2006), Louise J. Kaplan offers an alternative that transcends psychological notions of the fetish. For Kaplan, fetishism is a “strategy” for creating control and meaning. As part of this strategy, individuals or segments of society render the immaterial or “Other” into something material and tangible, effectively transforming ambiguity and uncertainty into something knowable and stable.
Through the inclusion of multiple voices—comprising material objects and relevant texts—Unbinding the Fetish seeks to inspire viewers to form for themselves additional interpretations and understandings of the fetish that will extend the discussion beyond the scope of the Spencer’s current Conversation.
Damien Hirst has been a cultural force in British art for 2 decades now and has tried his hand at everything from pickled cows to restaurants like Pharmacy. He has now opened a new gallery in London on Newport St just south of the Thames. His current exhibition features John Hoyland’s work.
The gallery’s bright, harmonious spaces might have been purpose-built to show Hoyland’s widescreen canvases. The knock-out first room is devoted to paintings in red, with smudgy squares floating on fields of crimson and vermilion; the second to paintings in green, with a series of luminous works clearly painted in close succession.
Born in Sheffield in 1934, Hoyland started out in thrall to American painting, and his earlier work shows the obvious influence of Mark Rothko and his fellow colour field painter Barnet Newman. Yet a painting such as 29.12.66, painted on that very date, has a tough authenticity that takes it beyond provincial imitation. His later paintings, showcased in the Newport Street Gallery’s final room, show how Hoyland later became most interested in absorbing sensations from nature. His late pictures evoke wonder in an almost musical sense; bringing to them, also, an undertow of English pastoralism that nods to Turner and Constable.
I passed by at the Saatchi Gallery on Kings Rd Chelsea today but the new show Champagne life had not opened yet. What a disappointment, and it was raining. Apparently it opens in a couple of days so i will pass by on Saturday and enjoy it for free. Yup Saatchi Gallery is free to visit and it has such great shows.
I love London for viewing art there is so much to see and it is always cutting edge. I will report on the new Saatchi show next week.
So welcome to my blog. Why ‘Gallery 1409′? Well, to be brutally honest it was the name that came with this domain and the number ’14’ has always been lucky for me so I thought it might sit rather well on this project. So what is the project? I will explain. I love art in all its forms and I spend far too much time gazing longingly at works of art in galleries and online. I much prefer real galleries, of course.
So this blog will be my personal voyage through the latest and, to my mind, the most wonderful pieces of modern European art. One day perhaps I will have my own gallery and I will look for a vacant lot at 1409 – nothing else will do for me and then I will have the gallery and the blog address ready made for eachother. Excuse my ramblings but I have had quite a bit to drink and things are getting fuzzy in the keyboard area 😉 Ciao for now!