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Wayward at the Hayward

15 Jul

Have you ever sat there wondering about how the universe works, why the world we live in is the way that it is or just questioned some of the views we get taught in school science lessons?

The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank has an awesome new exhibition bringing eccentric artists, visionaries and geniuses from around the country to offer us an ALTERNATIVE GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE 

 The Exhibition focuses on individuals who develop their ideas outside of university and established disciplines. The ideas is to inspire and challenge the accepted ways of thinking in order to re-imagine the rules of culture and science.  The Hayward is an art gallery but this exhibition has work made from a wide range of forms and materials, it includes epic paintings of alternative calendars as well as obsessively detailed drawings of the human nervous system; scientific charts and fantastical engineering plans; functioning robots and blueprints for cities of the future and the evolution of human consciousness.

Several photographers in the exhibition, meanwhile, explore fictional identities and alter egos, including a homeless artist from Chicago whose theatrical photo-booth self-portraits.

Taken together, the speculative visions in Alternative Guide to the Universe rival the wildest inventions of science fiction – with the difference that these artists actually believe in the validity and veracity of all that they describe and propose.  Whether speculating on mysteries of time and space or charting the unseen energy flows of our bodies and minds, their imaginative creations invite the viewer into a universe where ingenuity trumps received wisdom.

“These brilliant mavericks expand the spaces in which our own imaginative thinking about the world may venture,” says Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff. “However farfetched or outlandish it may seem, their work possesses an intensity and bracing originality that gives it a compelling reality all its own. It invites us to think outside of our conventional categories and ultimately to question our definitions of ‘normal’ art and science.”


Here’s a few of the artists that sound great!  Marcel Storr’s delicately intricate drawings (which he believed would provide a blueprint for re-building Paris after a nuclear attack), or measured in the gorgeous cosmological diagrams and numerical calculations of Alfred Jensen. Underground street artist Rammellzee fashioned his ‘Letter Racers’ as part of a campaign to liberate the alphabet from the strictures of Western civilization.Karl Hans Janke sought out ways of producing unlimited energy.

Review to follow

The Alternative Guide to the Universe

Hayward Gallery, 11 June – 26 August 2013

Visitor information and tickets:

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX



I can feel your smile

21 Jul

Firstly a retrospective in the Hayward is a big deal, but then Tracey has been up for a Turner and had a leading role in Saatchi’s  Brit Art movement so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

“the girl went out like a 40 watt light bulb”

Then again Emin has always seemed to be an outsider, from her dirty bed and tent ‘everyone i have ever slept with’ to her pissed up performance on TV commentating on the Tate she always seemed to be making a scene.

What’s a whole gallery of her work going to be like?

Firstly let me say I used to HATE Tracey Emin I just didn’t get how she used her sexuality, calling herself a slag and talking about her abortions.  I wasn’t a slag, I hadn’t had gonorrhea, i didn’t think that having a c*nt was the most interesting thing about me and i thought that art should be, well, visually appealing. I also loved painting. I still love painting but i now love Tracey Emin too so what changed?

” I never liked school i was always late ”

Me probably. Where before i only saw the hate, anger and negativity in her work ( and her work is anchored in the most negative, human, dark spots of her life that seem to force her creativity ) I started to notice the love love love and the humor and the detail. She hand stitched hard words into her patchwork quilts.

“there’s no one in the room who hasn’t thought about killing”

She makes etchings ( a laborious process ) of rough masturbating line drawings and she tells beautiful stories. God she uses words with such beauty I will forgive her for making me look at her used tampons.

Emin do’s and don’ts

Do look for the beauty and the detail in her work

Do watch ALL the videos. Just do it. Wait because she takes you on a journey and one of them ( The reason i never became a dancer ) made me cry

Don’t expect to look at beautiful art objects or great paintings ( although I do really like some of her paintings )

Don’t be freaked out by all the abortion stuff or the fact that it’s £12 to get in – it’s worth it

Do go straight to the book shop and buy her book ‘Strangeland’

So, an acquired taste – definitely, but if you can get over the surface sense of annoyance that you’re not served good looking art objects the beautiful raw humanness of her work and the emotional  integrity will make you want to find her and buy her a drink or 4.

Under the sea with Ernesto Neto

9 Sep

Now the Hayward is a brilliant gallery space, not too big, little spaces you don’t notice at first and outside spaces to explore. Ernesto Neto’s exhibition fitted right in.  

The best way to describe the experience is it’s like wandering through a weird, beautifully coloured underwater kingdom. Built with childish wonder in mind the ceilings are lowered and everywhere there are things to touch, pull, bang or squint through. 

As you wander through room after room with structures covered in coloured tight like material, poking, prodding and feeding your hands through contrasting coloured ventricals you can see adults and kids alike smiling and you feel, well friendlier.  

With outside structures too, a pool you can book to swim in complete with on site changing rooms and a tree that looks like a pineapple, there’s a good 45 minutes / hour worth of fun to be had in this exhibition. 

So all in all a great exhibition, although a bit expensive at the full price of £11 ( they do student discount thought ) take some kids with you for maximum enjoyment. 

P.S before entering Ernesto’s exhibition you have to walk through The New Decor – a group of artists interpretation of the future of interior design. in summary the future looks like a space hooker crossed with a storm trouper with some miserable illegal immigrants thrown in and you can’t touch anything. Nil points. 

If you want something more interesting to do, check out the latest YH World events