I’ve been looking for a review to read, but I’ve only come across things that I don’t want to hear others opinions about, or things that I’m not that interested in knowing more about. Things that I do want to know about are glaringly obvious tweaked press releases without any opinion added, just a few sticky words to get the punters interested.
But, with an upcoming visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) planned, I wondered what the good folks of The Culture Vulture blog thought about the current exhibitions. What I came across was a clever review using the dialogue between the reviewer and their companion whilst at YSP. It was witty, relatable, and honest, giving me a fun insight into what my actual experience may be like.
The author, Kate Booth, did not take the conventional approach but managed to communicate all the same elements and key points. It was human and real. It reminded that you don’t have to take the obvious approach.
A Talking Tour of Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Submitted by Kate Booth on January 13, 2014 – 6:56 pm
N: Oooh Look at that one there, with the rabbits. I really like that.
K: It’s very nice, but shall we leave the gift shop and look at the art now?
N: You’re not appreciating it properly. This is art; real art I can buy. Well, theoretically, credit card allowing.
K: We’re meant to be here so I can write a review of the art.
N: Write about the rabbits. Look they’re chasing each other round my finger.
K: Put down the expensive jewellery. Let’s focus and get our art freak on. I thought I’d start it like this: It was a grey and moody Sunday as we made our way through lifting veils of mist to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to see the new exhibition by
N: I don’t like it.
K: Tom Price. What do you mean you don’t like it?
N: You sound like a bit of a… knob.
K: Doesn’t it make me sound all highbrow or something?
N: Yes, you definitely sound like something. You should write about how long it took four members of staff to make two hot drinks in the café.
K: I know! They’ll never get a job in Starbucks.
N: It’s surely the pinnacle all beverage makers are aiming for. OK, art me up.
K: To the Bothy Gallery.
K: What do you think to these bronze statues then?
N: This one looks like my Dad.
K: Please don’t be looking at the naked one as you say this to me.
N: Eurgh Nooo!. This one in the slippers with a mobile telephone in his shirt pocket.
K: The one in the V-neck jumper looks happier than the others.
N: Yeah, he’s cuddly.
K: Yeah. It’s like it’s a dual enquiry into the artist’s white British and Black Jamaican heritage as well as exploring the identity of the black male in sculpture and culture.
N: Are you reading that off the wall?
K: Might be. Shall we move on?
K: Who is Roger Hiorns?
N: Never heard of him. Do you think you pronounce that ‘Roger Horns’?
K: I don’t know. And get rid of that smirk. Anyway, we’re not allowed in.
Attendant: Yes you are. I just have to explain the installation first and you have to put these little plastic shower caps on your shoes.
Attendant: Just put them on. To create this installation the artist filled a London bedsit with water and liquid copper sulphate, then left it until all the surfaces were covered with blue crystals.
N: Like the junior scientist grow your own crystal set?
K: With the string and the jam jar?
Attendant: … Kind of.
K: Who thinks to do that to a flat? And then brings the flat to Wakefield.
N: How did they do that?
Attendant: They’re very clever. Would you like to go in and look?
[Crunch crunch crunch.]
N: Pretty. It’s strangely beautiful and somewhat menacing. It’s like a juxtaposition of your expectation of a bedsit and the beguiling sparkle of crystal.
K: Did you just make that up?
K: It sounded good. I might nick it. This isn’t very big. Are London bedsits all this small?
N: I don’t know. We should get back to Tom Price. He’s got a sculpture down near the lake.
K: Bit slippy this mud.
N: Eeeeeeee! [Thud.]
K: Perhaps we should have taken off the shower caps. Is that it over there?
N: No. Here it is: a nine feet tall bronze sculpture of a man wearing a puffa jacket and checking his smart phone.
K: Like that smaller, fleshy, human, version over there?
N: Life imitating art.
K: Or art imitating life.
K: I like the way he takes the inherited conventions of civic statuary and gives them a simple, yet surprisingly effective, thematic twist.
N: I like the way that dog has just returned a stick to the sculpture instead of his owner. Hang on, there’s no wall, where are you reading from?
K: The Guardian.
N: I don’t think you’re going to get a job reviewing for the Guardian.
K: Fuck it then. Shall we go and have a scone?
[Over a scone]
N: I don’t think we’re really cut out for this high-brow analysis. Do you?
N: I really did enjoy that bedsit. It was quite magical. What did you think about the bronzes?
K: I like to be able to recognise what a piece of art is; it needs to look like something I’ve already seen before, like a person or a bowl of fruit. The concept of a man holding a phone was something I felt able to understand; it’s like, I could really connect with it.
N: I think you should probably stick to the day job.
K: I can’t believe they’ve put mustard in these scones.
N: Me neither.