The myth goes like this: in Persia, the rugmakers cannot make their beautiful geometrical designs without inserting a flaw somewhere, as only Allah can achieve perfection. Regardless of the fact that this idea was first thought up in the forties, and even the best rugmakers are likely to make small mistakes in their extremely complex patterns anyway, it is this little ‘factoid’ that drew me to Mit Senoj’s ‘Chaos & Order’ pencil on paper series. Senoj’s intricate and highly detailed patterned drawings are defaced by harsh pencil markings across the entire length. The second, more aggressive of the two pictures has the words ‘U FUCKER’ written across the top. Between the two Chaos & Order drawings is his pencil and ink piece ‘Skin Deep’, which makes an eyecatching triptych when first entering the Motorcade/FlashParade’s main gallery space in Bristol.
Neil McNally’s ‘Elephant’ on the nearside wall is also just as eye-
This idea of disruption and playfulness was not better exemplified in Megan Broadmeadow’s performance piece, ‘Ewe Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’. A humorous take on that most crude of Welsh stereotypes, Broadmeadow dresses as a sheep and performs a striptease in costume. The whole performance (to N.E.R.D’s ‘Lapdance’, as far as I could tell) ends in Broadmeadow’s ewe getting the audience to shear her in the gallery.
Along with Broadmeadow’s piece, there was also a more implicit performance to counterbalance this explicit display. Tiff Oben’s ‘Chavette’ sees her dressed up as a member of the self-
Blending in ignorance and humour is Miranda Whall’s ’11th Day’. Here, the artist/performer sits on the counter of a DIY stall. Every time a customer approaches, she pulls down her trousers and ‘grooms’ herself, amongst doing other private acts which would be considered highly personal, while paying no attention to the stallholder or his customers. The reaction of the customers could not be more different from that of the viewers in the art space – the customers, these big burly men who quite naturally wouldn’t look out of place on a building site, would act as if she wasn’t there; they would try their best not to notice and to get out of her vicinity as soon as possible. On the other hand, the viewers in the art space seemed equally shocked and delighted at this audacity of breaking such social taboos in such an extreme way.
I did notice however that this piece dates from 2004; this makes it the oldest piece of work in the show by far. I never got the chance to meet Miranda Whall so I never had the chance to ask her why it took her so long to put the piece up for exhibition. I also made the mistake of not asking the curators about this decision either – although I’m pretty sure that the title of this show will tell you what they would think of my surmising. And it doesn’t by any means take away from what is a provocative, challenging yet extremely good work of art – it is just something I would have liked to have asked about.
Another piece that got people talking was Tom Goddard’s From ‘Ape to Adam to Apocalypse’. This is a series of hand-
Images from the exhibition