Turner Contemporary Strike II

October 16 2011. Exhibition numero dos. Since it opened 16 April 2011 (coincidence that I managed to attend the second exhibit a mere 6 months after its first amazing (:/) exhibit…no) the Turner has attracted thousands, if not millions, of tourists and Margate inhabitants through its wide, clean french doors.

I have no doubt that the second exhibit will attract the same attention. In fact one gentleman was astounded that his friend lived ‘only a minute away from it all.’ Yes. It’s so exciting, isn’t it? To have a gallery by the seaside full of band posters and a photo of a girl with a skinned chicken for a vagina, (‘cleverly entitled ‘Chicken Knickers’ as if you didn’t work that out for yourself as you’re walking away trying not to laugh at such atrocity). How lucky we are to have a bit of class next to the beach.

I’ll be positive for a teeny bit….

You walk through the well-kept shiny doors (these were a highlight for me, stepping over the thresh-hold, open-minded, being prepared to have anything thrown at me…even chicken vaginas…but so clean!) and your eyes glance upon Auguste Rodin’s (1840-1917) marble sculpture of ‘The Kiss’ (1889). It’s told that said sculpture depicts Francesca da Rimini and Paulo Malatesta in Poet Dante’s Inferno. Placed strategically in the Sunley Gallery opposite the ‘mood changing’ window, The Kiss is to grace Turner with it’s presence until September 2 2012. So the story goes…

” The couple are the adulterous lovers Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, who were slain by Francesca’s outraged husband.”

Tate Collection (tate.org.uk)

The “image of sexual love” is five small steps away from an 1869 painting of pooing seagulls by James Webb. Credit where it is due, this is a spectacular painting. A historical account of what Margate would look like, with the old Holy Trinity spire to the left, which got bombed in the second world war and no longer exists. The painting is from the perspective taken from the pier, which no longer stands after being destroyed in a storm in 1978. We’re doing well!

To some people this painting depicts real art, a Turner inspired (close to the heart of many Margatarians) painting holds the history of a place all in a brushstroke. However, take a walk across the Sunley Gallery and you come across new-age art. Abstract. Unusual. And seemingly something people like… otherwise why would it be at the ‘famous’ Turner Contemporary?

Lillian Suwanrumpha, an American born in 1987 produced the piece ‘Objects of Labour’ 2010. With the use of various textiles, 3 mannequins and lights, Suwanrumpha’s work “brings together ideas of gender and class with textile production and the global economy of football.” To create a wondrous piece of 3 manequins, with lights for heads, wearing football shirts and tutu’s. It was an expression that said the football genre was very stereotypically male-dominated and so adding some frills and sequined decorations to a display doll changes this perception. Not for me to judge.

What happened to real art, paintings that looked like photographs, so detailed in their brush stroke of one single silk dress, that you felt like you could touch it, scrunch it up in your hand and feel the texture? Things change, and unfortunately art changes with it. Or at least the definition changes.

Then comes the new exhibition is to stay from 17 September 2011 – 8 January 2012, a few months for people to mill around the various artistic talent; “Nothing in the World But Youth.” An exhibition that’s inspired by Margate, a seaside town associated throughout history with youth experience. Nothing in the World But Youth encompasses the excitement, energy and pulsating creativity of the young, bringing together over 200 works by 94 artists in an examination of youth culture.  I won’t get all ‘nose in the air snobbish’ about it. I’ll let you decide.


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