duh! at Focal Point Gallery


1st things 1st thankssss Focal Point Gallery for free return tickets to southend-on-sea for the opening of duh!, the london art circus thanks you xxx

the exhibition looked at stupidity in art, poked its belly, asked if artists could mess with stupidity without spoiling it with their big stupid words? —>— there’s a lotta work in this show but I'm only writing on the pieces that made my loins ache (you’re not supposed to force your poos)>

ima start with clunie reid’s video:

[1] [cat screaming devils. I was sitting on the blow up double bed watching clunie’s films thinking, 'I wanna have sex on a water bed.’ I liked the kissy smilies, the web 2.0 doll graphics, the saccharine flash assault of bouncy booby avatars. ‘In Pursuit of the Liquid,’ is so piczo/myspace/bebo w heart borders and stacks on stacks on stacks. Guns and Disney. flash flash flash flash flash/. the video is like the electric crusty bottom of Photobucket. people kept sitting down next to me on the blow up bed n I’d go a little higher or a little lower :)()()()/ n I am glad this piece was shown at duh! because its content is so low-fi and that’s low-key seductive. unicorn webcam bra. On all fours with glitter. Up da shitter. / you don’t have to work on it bc it works on you. free delivery. I watched four loops of the reel., of deli meat slabs thrown on a naked back. Baloney-lonely. But if the film worked on me, how did it leave me? I was picking my lips, for one. I spoke to someone on the train there who said the Eddie Peake show left him horny. This made me want to pout /get buoyant. I wanted to go home, open Tinder, and download a penis]

i also liked [2] sturtevant’s ‘The Dark Threat of Absence.’

on my internet travels I once saw a YouTube title about a butterfly boy and I shouldn’t have clicked on it. the kid was half way through his life already, his skin wouldn't stay on his pasty limbs. N I thought of that while I watched this video, thought of the kid’s failing body when a projected penis peed, when a hand chopped off its own fake fingers then did the knife-between-fingers challenge, and when the comic plastic hands fumbled and tried to squeeze ketchup into a mixing bowl. these hands belonged to a nightmare sesame street puppet-skin-rough body. As I watched, a woman sitting on the floor in front of me stroked her partners back. he was wearing a waterproof jacket and the sound of her hand up and down him, over the finger chopping and mayo and mannequin butt sniffing, made me want to die./ the haptics in the video were coming off the screen and making me feel hot./And I started to wonder how this piece interrogated stupidity when the girl next to me asked her friends if Sturtevant was 'doing Paul McCarthy.’ I was done, I walked away, went to pee even though I didn't need to. and on my way to the bathroom I read

[3] the wall of annotated press releases by BANK, whose picking apart of art-speak was ruthless and totally called for. but the scribbled a4 sheets made my heart burst, then shiver, then sweat. it was the same crash back down to earth as overhearing that girl;s comment on the sturtevant video. I can like a work> think about it> then feel a certain heaviness…:(Duh! asks if artists can mess with stupidity without making it clever, and maybe they can if we don’t ask these questions. critical theory can undo art. critical theory leaves me feeling awkward sometimes, like I’m stuck listening to someone explain a joke :{ ~ and then it can make my cheeks burn, and this is what the BANK pieces did, because I agreed with their comments but they are so im-smarter-than-you, they left me shitting myself because I imagined them picking apart the writing on the white pube. lol. isn’t it funny that i left duh! feeling stupid :}