Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Constructive Summer

As I have now more or less finished for summer I am now busying myself with plenty of cultural ‘to dos’ yesterday for instance I caught up on a couple of errands then I went to one of my local charity shops and decided to do some volunteer work until I get another job (I was made redundant 2 weeks ago :( ) So this is exciting.

But today however, I visited one of the biggest local galleries I live near, to see the new exhibition showcasing Robbie Coopers work surrounding the idea of peoples behaviour in terms of when they are on a computer game, watching a film or the TV. I read a couple of weeks ago an article in the Sunday times magazine discussing his work and since then I have been fascinated to see the exhibition, ‘Immersion’ to see the imagery and a VT showing, mainly children, during their time of ‘leisure’. The VT I watched was quite creepy really, the emotions of the kids are so placid considering the games they were on (Call of Duty, Grand Theft auto) and the films they were watching (Saw, Peppa Pig). Also when watching the VT you yourself feel quite exposed. It’s a strange experience. The images at the exhibition, physically, were huge also, again really bringing in the onlooker into the world of the subject. I’m quite mesmerized with people, I like to understand them, I’m a big people watcher so this exhibition I really enjoyed.

Another exhibition I saw whilst at the museum was Simon Roberts, ‘We English’.

An exhibition of the ‘investigation of the English at leisure’. It was quite ironic really I had just come out of the Pictureville cinema after watching ‘I am Love’ a hugely Italian film, then onto ‘We English’: the exhibition brought me back to my ‘English-ness’. The images in the exhibition were a mixture of Roberts’ alongside images from the Nation Media Museum collections and a few Martin Parr images which is obviously very fitting considering Roberts’ concept. Roberts shot his images using a Ebony 45S camera (a large format camera) to create these immensely large images. This is what caught my attention firstly the shear size of the images adds that little extra for the viewer, you almost become part of the photograph. With Roberts’ images placed alongside images dating right back to the early 1990’s you realise that English leisure hasn’t changed massively: the exhibition although somewhat voyeuristic celebrates English-ness in an amusing way.

If you have time to visit the Museum do so, because being a student it’s great to get things for free, and both these exhibitions were free entry. It’s obviously free to sit and home and relax but its much more entertaining seeing some lovely, inspiring work than sat at home watching a screen, why not watch peoples expressions whilst they do the TV watching for you: it's much more interesting.

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