The White Pube: Yuri Pattison at Chisenhale


emoji summary of a blue button, a palm tree, and a square with a circle inside

I wake up and i check Instagram-twitter-Facebook-emails and i get up. I take my laptop with me to the bathroom and i watch shit on netflix while i wash my face.

My world is busy. i like it. i LOVE being busy, rushing around - and after we graduated and all the stress was gone, all i felt was empty and hollow. i. like. being. busy. My mum’s the same. She was out of work for one month and I saw her slowly unravel; she didn’t know what to do with her time. She watched one episode of Loose Women and then walked round the house hoovering every surface, including the sofa. My disposition to busy-ness is literally genetic.

And on top of that busy-ness, is the busy-ness of my aesthetic choices. I’m not necessarily a messy person; i just have a lot of stuff. bit of a hoarder. Not a mad ‘i keep old toothpaste tubes’ hoarder, but a ‘i don’t really throw out old clothes or jewellery or even make-up that’s past its use-by-date.’ Recently i’ve been watching a lot of Youtube videos on ~ minimalism ~ and that minimalist lifestyle of owning as few things as possible. Like. I don’t buy into that Marie Kondo, life-changing magic of tidying up/only keep objects that bring you joy/all that middle-class zen shit. But there are times when i look at my bookcase, at the books piled up on the floor around it, and I think: ‘Is my life too cluttered?’

My phone is at its storage limit, my room is too; every time i look at my twitter app, i have 17 bloody notifications, ALL FROM MY OWN BOT. Even my friggin laptop is covered in damn stickers. There isn’t a single point in my being that isn’t b~u~s~y.

Having laid all of that down ~ the Chisenhale was like walking into an empty show-room. I had space to expand and move into; a feeling i haven’t felt in really, quite a long time. That feeling of looking at just clean, transparent perspex (when everything I own is the exact opposite), you get it when you brush ur teeth in the morning, and your mouth is all minty and nice and you run your tongue across your teeth and it just slides across and ur like “mmmmmmm. yes.”

it was nice to slide into a gallery, to feel a lot of space.

My boyfriend read all of the handout and said lots about office-blocks and post-apocalyptic B&Q and, ‘this is like a marketing company that’s fully automated, run by drones.’

But all i thought was, ‘ENUFF. I AM TIRED. TIRED OF LIVING IN ALL THIS SHIT I DON’T NEED BUT DON’T WANT TO THROW AWAY.’ It was that moment when u shlep ur brown ass down to IKEA, buy loads of storage boxes, and fold all your crap into those and shove it under your bed, away. or like. when on a saturday, before you are doing the week’s laundry, and you take all the socks and pants on your floor, put away all the clothes that are on that chair, and look at your bedroom and everything just feels bigger. and you feel lighter. and you feel the space breathing, not heavily, but calmly. like it’s just unbuttoned its trousers after a big meal.

It was a nice kind of smugness that i always feel when I rearrange my living space. A few months ago, i bought a newer, bigger bed, and i had to shuffle my bedroom around. the bookcase went to the other side, and i moved my desk near the door. slotted in the new bed. like sliding my tongue across clean teeth. It was newer and cleaner and my eyes weren’t used to it being like this. Not used to things being in this order, but i liked it.

And that’s the only way I can really explain how this show made me feel. Like a nice kind of emptiness. Happy-empty; not post-storm-hollow. It was empty in a way that felt at ease with itself, sophisticated hoarding. I don’t want to reduce it to ~ minimalism ~, because that feels like a reductive term here. But it was spatial sensibility. There were as few a things as possible; like, enough to make the space feel like it wanted you in it without overwhelming you. And that sensibility was enough to put me at ease. I slid in, slid around. I slid back out. I sat on what i thought was a beanbag, but it actually turned out to be some art. I wasn’t even worried about it, or leaving my butt imprint on some art. I just carried on sliding my way around, at ease.

a chair with white fabric on top is positioned against a plastic frame

an upside down metal shelving unit on the floor is holding plants on top of it

a tiny screen is visible in the corner of a shelving unit showing something blue and abstract on screen