Friday, October 26, 2007

Martin Creed

Laura Donaldson, who left her job as gallery director at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Mills Gallery in August, scores a bit of a coup with her goodbye show at the gallery: Scottish artist Martin Creed’s “Work No. 227: The Lights Going On and Off.” It’s a recreation of his 2001 exhibit at the Tate Britain in London that won him that year’s Turner Prize (presented to him by Madonna, who made a bunch of great comments at the event) and is now part of the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The installation (as I wrote in this review) consists of the empty Mills Gallery with the lights flicking on and off every five seconds in a leisurely strobing. (It’s interesting to compare it to Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans’s 2005 exhibit at Boston’s MFA, which had seven crystal chandeliers flashing Morse code.) Creed’s installation brings your attention to the gallery lighting (duh) and architecture (because you want to avoid bumping into it when the lights cut out). At the opening, the effect made it challenging to pick out friends across the room. I’ve been back to see it a second time. It’s mildly amusing, but a forgettable minimalist goof.

The Globe’s Geoff Edgers provides background.
Roberta Smith reviews Creed’s “charmingly colorful, amusingly noisy, spaciously installed survey” at Bard College last summer.
Video of Creed’s vomit piece. This seems to be another version of the same thing.

Martin Creed “The Lights Going On and Off,” Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston, Sept. 14 to Oct. 28, 2007.


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