I got A4 to come with me to the last M.A. Communication Design show.
It was fairly well hidden in the heart of Hipsterville.
So I got lost, naturally.
I had drawn myself a map on an old receipt (my phone is so old school that it has no internet and the call button has fallen off) but my hurried scrawl was a little confusing.
I asked some guy who was strolling along wearing ray bans, a white vest and tight trousers if he knew where so-and-so place was. He answered languidly in his hipsterville drawl in the negative.
I don’t know why, but I really wanted to punch him.
Fucking drugged up Shoreditchsters. They never know anything.
After much meandering past many artist-run shops with unaffordable, totally useless (yet strangely desirable) hand-made products, I finally found a little grassy hillock (It was a roundabout, but a classy one) where there was a ‘carom meet’.
This had puzzled me until I climbed to the top of this hillock and saw a couple of nerdy indian boys playing carom very intently. It was some fund-raiser of sorts. That it was Indians playing seemed perfectly in keeping with my idea of carom which we played often while on family holidays.
I found A4 on the other side of the carom meet with her woman.
We soon ran into more people looking for this show who were equally lost. We all wandered around the round-about, both groups lost and following each other, trying to find this school.
The guy with the cut-out things was the first thing by the door. He had a life size suit, shoes, a Rolex and the working pin-hole camera all folded and made from paper.
I promptly started accumulating all the illustration postcards. I love artist postcards. A4 said I must only go to these shows to collect postcards.
I also go for the free booze n’ schmooze, but I missed that evening this year. Next year!
Some of the illustration was very beautiful and very intricate. Some were slightly disappointing, I gotta say. There were not as many penises this year. I did a count.
It was a real struggle to give any time and attention to the design and media work. I liked some of the ideas but the presentation of it was so banal I dread to think what the M.A. show is going to look like next year without any photography or illustration.
I bypassed the arabic font thing entirely. It looked mighty dull, I’m sorry, but it really was. There’s only so much arabic font projects I can be bothered to look at. Our college seems to churn these things out every year. Give me a nice penis drawing any day.
There was a really interesting project about commercial fishing and depleting fish stocks. Nice graphic posters too.
I think the way design projects are exhibited needs to be addressed. Two dimensional media like illustration, painting and photography lends itself to just being placed flat on a wall easily.
Design projects that are all about the concept, the working idea or that have a function seem to suffer unless presented in some outstanding way. Placed flat on a wall just doesn’t work well and I don’t think that leafing through a bunch of research books and what-not is the best way to exhibit what might be a great idea.
Anyway my design bias aside, the show was good. Shame it’s all over.
We then wandered down to Brick Lane to window shop and to see a collection of whole sale B.A. work from various colleges in a part of the Truman Brewery. (I think it was called ‘Egg’ or had something with ‘egg’ in it.)
There is nothing more depressing that a bunch of foundation and B.A work lumped together in a giant network of bricked rooms. It was a show of mostly A4 sized photographs and seriously earnest project statements.
One was about how the media portrays people in such a idealized way that this persons project wanted to change all that by just photographing ‘normal’ people in the nude.
A4 said she felt terribly jaded.
There was also just so much all in one space that it was impossible not to feel slightly tired once you’d seen/read a few.
Another project was just an assembly of found objects: Old boxes, cigars, match boxes, some old photos. All this person had done was sew over the faces in the photos. It wasn’t even a pattern, it was just lines. That was it.
I read the artist / project information and it was a load of garbage. The sheer laziness of that project made me absolutely irate. Not only had his girl done very little aside from buying from junk sales and assembling it in a totally boring way but then she had also gone and destroyed some very interesting old photos for a totally shitty project. What an idiothole.
We left shortly and sat outside in the sun drinking Ginger beer.
I got a great quote from A4, (who is currently PhDing) who once asked her mother about future career prospects while studying marine biology. Her mother’s response is my current favorite quote.
“Don’t get onto the sinking ship of science.”
Dr. So-and-so P. Dr. of Nuclear Physics and part winner of the Nobel peace prize.
PhD’s AND Nobel Peace prizes!!?? I can’t believe A4’s family are such over achievers.
I’d better get back to drawing that outline of a lemon I started the other day.
The whole sale graduate art show wasn’t called Egg. It was called Free Range.