Cover image of the review
John Meade, *Automatic*, 2011, fiberglass, automotive enamel. Photo: Matthew Stanton


24 Aug 2019
25 Jul - 24 Aug 2019

The exhibition …(illegible)… offers a fascinating exquisite corpse for conceptual consideration: the sliced intersection between ‘queer’ and ‘abstraction’. Their categorical differences within art channels are manifold: where queer is performative, salacious, interruptive and disingenuine, abstraction is constructural, metaphysical, holistic and earnest. That they are assumed to never categorically meet, align, breach and destabilise each other is grounds enough for curator Andrew Atchinson’s conceit. His curation queers the dour historicised correctness of the inflamed 80s/90s crossover of activised art by embracing extant moments and imagining future possibilities so that artists can voice their concerns in unfitting ways.

Briony Galligan, Opening appearance 2016/19, flannelette, PVC, cotton, pine, acrylic, mirror ball motor and aluminium fixings. Photograph: Matthew Stanton.

I am not your go-to person to commend political art of any persuasion—especially that which deploys passive-aggressive manipulations of worthiness to silence lateral critical engagement. The spread of so-labelled ‘AIDS-art’ of the era was important in leveraging a political platform for social, legal and health reform, but like all political art, it neither follows nor should be mandated that the art produced under such conditions be exempt from solipsistic formalism or amoral interpretation.

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