12th September to 10th October 1999
Arthur R. Rose Gallery London
For this exhibition consistency has been projected as the purveyor of contents, ‘The Museum to the present physical state of Things’, (perhaps for Calvino, it would be ‘the Library’). Consistency reifies itself as a container of substance. Whilst Inconsistency is perceived as the collection; changing and fluctuating its contents, whilst dependent on ‘Consistency’ to define its state of existence or value.
‘Things that may be historically ‘Inconsistent’, but whose function and physical form remain ‘Consistent’ to their principle origin; eg. maps, plans, outline drawings, iconography, catalogues, souvenirs, information brochures, cartoons, diairies, calendars, generic consumer products, dictionaries, encyclopediae, etc. are examples.
To be part of ‘In Consistency’ is to consist of oneself; to contain self-reason. What consists of the collected object is self-evidential. Icons or things that provide meaning in spite of its ever fluctuating, historical or cultural value.
What consists of ‘the next Millennium’ when it is yet to take form. Are we to believe that it is ultimately about looking forward to a projected future-present where the past is but a thing called history? What are we left with when you can’t remember asking ‘how far back ca you really remember?’ without a guilty feeling of nostalgia and self-doubt. Perhaps the constant attribute will be that of humour, when the only consistent response will be one of laughter and forgetting.
Adapted from gallery press release
“As usual, you have to look hard to find Martin Creed’s work. There it is, a whole pack of Blu-Tack shaped into little circles and dotted around the walls to deliver a satisfying unity to an informal selection of works. If there is a link, it’s that these artists swap visual stimuli for introverted conceptualism. Creed’s piece is the most low-key, but Ian Whittlesea comes close with a text which lists the show’s participants, looks like a poster and is hung behind the desk to perpetuate the confusion. Roderick Buchanan’s Discman figures an abstracted, idealised version of an international football match which plays the national anthems of the two countries, one after another. Unpleasant post-match shenanigans—and the match itself—are airbrushed out. Neil Cummings continues his apparently endless look at disposable consumer goods in a video which soothingly cross-fades between brightly coloured baby’s dummies.
Everything is head-noddingly thoughtful. There are photographs of figures in the water, each approximately cut to the shape of the potato crisp mounted on the wall beneath it, a pair of ‘O’s drawings on paper and editioned as a thousand series, a toothbrush with its bristles replaced by human hair, a video of an empty passenger plane that questions notions of forward motion and stillness. A teasing sequence of lacunae, ‘In Cosistency’ offers a work out for the brain that won’t ruin your appetite.”
Review by Martin Herbert in TimeOut.