Cover image of the review
Victoria Todorov, Room 318 (I am wealthy in terms of my vision), 2021, oil on canvas, 129 × 185 × 3.5 cm. Courtesy of Discordia.


8 Aug 2021
Neon Parc 4 Aug - 29 Aug 2021

At the start of the trailer for Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Rage, the new HBO documentary about the calamitous festival, a talking head sets an ominous scene. “There is a sixth sense that you develop when you spend your life going to venues. I can tell you from a hundred feet away what the energy in that venue is going to be like”. Things were a little off at Woodstock that year. Mass dehydration abounded. Portaloos overflowed, and the festival infrastructure was incinerated in Limp Bizkit-soundtracked bonfires. Organisers lost control of the rabid crowds; there were casualties. The event was later nicknamed “The Day the 90s Died”.

Spring1883 was fine. There was alcohol and functioning toilets. Last I heard, nobody died. But when your coverage starts with a police procession and ends with a lockdown, even the shiniest paintings start looking like shit.

On Thursday night, the Discordia offshoot in Richmond was full. People meandered between the two main rooms and a Persian rug-covered basement. The show was stacked with a disparate mix of paintings, a few sculptures and a single glossy photograph of an oyster. Recent Discordia solo show alumni, Tim Bučković, contributed two small oil paintings which were good: frollicking pagan groups rendered in umber and steely blues, hung discreetly above a fireplace. I was looking at Julia Trybala’s Bathroom I (2021) and Bathroom II (2021), embryonic melting women, when the cops showed up. Three of the boys in blue made their way into the white cube and began interrogating the venue host, while more backup waited with arms staunchly crossed outside. The languid subjects of Trybala’s paintings seemed vaguely affronted by the severity of the fluorescent vests and buzz cuts. The crowd dispersed.

To read for free enter your email address.

Log in with your registered email address.

Memo can continue to publish free, quality, and independent weekly art criticism with the support of our readers. Consider becoming a Patreon supporter or making a donation.