Upward Mobility

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This month the gallery at Modern Art Oxford has a juice bar at the centre of the building to celebrate a new exhibition that looks at how we are never truly private when we walk outside. The barriers between what is personal and what is public are investigated by placing iPads as cameras in garden hedges placed around the room.

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A selfie stick is handed to visitors as they enter the space so they can take their own photos and broadcast this intimate moment of connection in an art gallery through the railings and out to the outside world.

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This theme relates to the latest sensation in the London theatre world, currently at the Almeida Theatre, where Mike Bartlett ‘Game’ show lets the audience sit behind a window where the cast play out their lives publicly in a normal domestic setting; interrupted only by moments when the paying public decide to shoot them from a safe distance. Ultimately the sense of voyeurism can be a prison of cowardice and it is a bubble that needs to be broken. The bullets on stage show are only pretend and so nothing is destroyed.  There is a static contained feeling in the room that reminds me of that in Modern Art Oxford where the wide open white space is filled with the results of prying eyes.

Other works include a reconstruction of a riot from the Miner’s Strike at Orgreave in the 1980’s.

Photographs displayed in the smaller galleries are of deeply felt relationship between people who have decided to reveal their feelings in public space. They are accountable for that moment even though it may have since faded

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The past becomes a barrier to the present, in these works of Art. Only when we smash what separates us from the real action and dive into the present can we truly feel what is happening.  A blur is created by looking from the outside in and everything is seen as if behind a window.

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The title of this mixed media exhibition is ‘What makes you upwardly mobile?’ and I wonder whether spreading your face in social media via a selfie stick plays a part in this with the life of a tweet being around a minute.  I wonder who is watching through the window of the internet?

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All the same our inside world is turned outside throughout the gallery today and each work is cleverly thought out but nothing is resolved and this stays with me as I walk away.

Letting go of the old seems key to experiencing the creative work deeper and a quick spring clean, maybe wiping the windows clean so there is not a blur, seems like a plan.

The main piece of work on display is titled ‘Upward Mobility’ and is by Debora Delmar Corp – The Artist added ‘corp’ to her name, a term that reflects how Art is distributed.

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When we are private the world is everywhere and so we are never truly alone seems enough of a take away and I struggle to finish my super healthy juice from the exhibition.  The sharp taste came as a shock and certainly freed up the face muscles to feel more emotion.

The juice bar was part of the installation and I wondered how the sweet potato felt at becoming a piece of consumable art in someone’s smoothie. I made a short poem to the sweet potato that made the juice.

 

 

Upwardly Mobile Potato

The smoothie man utters

‘Move out the clutter,

It’s time to juice clean

and push a spud through the machine.’

The potato is only fit for compost.

Amongst the peelings it gets lost

but it wants to know once for all

what it’s like to be stuck on a gallery wall.

Potato skin flies like the wind and is crushed

on the carpet at the artists party you can read

the epitaph: ‘Under foot the real me will push

through – I tried but now I wish I’d been fried.

I’m the sweet one for real potatoes are a thing of the past;

their flavours don’t last.

My body lists

and I feel green tips

but it’s not too late

for the sweet potato rejuvenates.’

 

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Find my latest garden ebook here and further inspired posts relating to the word ‘Blur’ here and below

 

23 thoughts on “Upward Mobility

    • You inspired me to catch up on a few local walks I had meaning to try out😉 Thank you for my morning virtual walk around the caves today. Amazing to think the waves can carve out such dramatic shapes. The textures are breath taking. Looking forward to catching up with your images of the Algarve.

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  1. There is no privacy as people in real life speak into their cell phones and really don’t care if they’re heard or not. Sometimes I want to follow them around to hear the end of their conversation. Shame on me.

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    • Crikey. No shame at all!! I guess people make their decisions about what they reveal in public. I was on a full bus to London and one chap used his mobile phone to book a hotel for that night and gave the whole details of his credit card to the sales assistant on the other side!!!! It’s fascinating to understand other people’s lives from how they describe them

      Thank you so much for the view into the pretty decorated house fronts that have celebrated the Easter holiday. I wish Britain had a bit more festivity so I got my fix from your site😉 Awesome shot of the cheeky duck at the river too! Happy days😉

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  2. I LOVE your post, very well put. And the juice bar…I hope you drank the healthy kind.

    And by the way, there seems to be no privacy left. Have we lost even our most private moments! or do we change and turn into water buffalos in the rain or forfeit our intimate precious times that we hold so dear to ourselves.

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    • Thank you for shining light on my thoughts with the alternative imagery ‘water buffalos in the rain’ that is so succinct and vivid.

      Loved the colour mix in the cocktail post although I will to drink the healthy kind as you suggest! Something so magical about the deep colours you mixed, flowing into each other and becoming soft. Reminded me of the hard edges of Ed Paschke’s work that ultimately blends to make an overall gentleness from a harsh image. Your posts stick to me like glue!

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      • Man-@-man,,,U R so descriptive, I feel like you have read my mind, that is the way you make me feel, in a good way though. I throughly enjoy reading them. All the minor details become major.You are an artist with words. Please come often, I LOVE IT!! Thank U so, so much!!!!

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    • Walking around the exhibition hall really drilled this into me. It was like a recreated suburban garden with no privacy. Changed me perspective. I had a great time enjoying your detailed images capturing wildlife. The textures you portray bring the pictures to life. Hope you are having a great weekend.

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    • I’m still feeling bowled over by your rousing poetry in ‘Get Drunk!’ Today we are getting ready to enjoy the boat race in London so we a drunk on excitement as to who will win! Cheer for my city of Oxford! It will be in the evening and there are lovely sunsets on the river. I will be thinking about your post ‘Colour Me In’. Wishing you a lovely weekend Zee full of joy😉

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      • Ooh yess I read about it on some newspaper website but since I don’t know much about boat racing I didn’t think much of it when I was reading. But now that you told me, I hope the boat racing was spectacular and you share the photographs of the event in one of your post some day.
        Go Oxford !!😀
        Have a fantastic Sunday Dear Lita❤🙂

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    • Big smiles back!😉
      Yes. Totally agree. I guess that’s the sign of good art if it achieves this. If we just walk by then perhaps there’s a sense of failure even if it is nice to look at. I had a read of your meditative poetry ‘At Home on The Sea’ after the day on the river. Beautiful!

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  3. A fascinating exhibition, being watched whilst looking at the art, it sounds quite disarming. I love your poem about the sweet potato and I’m intrigued what a potato smoothie tastes like, hopefully nicer than it sounds!🙂

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    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment Kate. When I was in the room I did feel a little spooked and potato smoothie is a one off experience! I just had a great time enjoying your monochrome photographs, such beautiful art.

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      • Its a pleasure! Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts about this and other exhibitions. You write in such an engaging way and they are so interesting to read. I have had a post swimming round in my head about an exhibition I went to recently, maybe you have spurred me on to set it free!

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      • This sounds exciting Kate! Look forward to enjoying more of your sparkling and insightful writing. I love how exhibitions inspire writing in a totally an unexpected way. I’m not sure how it works.. but I think the visuals help! Wishing you a great weekend.

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    • A pleasure. I have been thinking a lot about this. Part of me just goes with the swing of things because it is so convenient to connect with people via the internet but another part of me looks at my street on google earth and realises everyone else sees this too! Thankfully our street is not so interesting😉 Wishing you a lovely October.

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