The art of Ghislaine Leung, Jesse Darling, Barbara Walker and Rory Pilgrim will make you laugh, cry and possibly yawn as they confront the dystopian crisis we’re in
What a dreadful fix we are in, socially, environmentally, politically. You name it. What now seems worth doing or making as an artist – to respond or not to our dystopian crisis, is the big question. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This year’s Turner prize show, at the Towner Eastbourne, does both.
The biggest piece in
’s show is the repurposed ventilation system that was removed from the Netwerk Aalst bar in Belgium in 2017, following the introduction of a public smoking ban. Leung acquired all the redundant metal piping and ducting and as much of it that fits has now been slotted and bolted together to climb around the doorway and run across the floor at the Towner. Originally slung from the ceiling in the bar, Leung dictates that it now be attached to the floor. She calls her plain descriptions of her works, and their instructions, “scores”, and the relation between her ideas and their physical manifestation is similar to the relationship between a musical score and its performance. Other works riff off a similar rulebook, or score sheet, and Leung’s art has a ridiculous sort of rigour. Hers is an “exciting rethinking of art production and practice”, the exhibition booklet tells us. One might take issue with the “exciting” part.