Pearlie visited Laura a week or so ago, and I tagged along with them one day to see a show by Betty Tompkins, which we thought was in Soho, but was actually waaaaay up north (by Archway at J Hammond Projects, which is at The Bomb Factory, which is close to CSM’s other campus). Although it was quite a bit of distance away from where we had decided to have lunch (Chinatown, of course), we made the trek anyway, because why not?
“Fuck Paintings, Etc.” is a collection of new work by Betty Tompkins whose projects seem to have resonated with recent developments such as #MeToo (covered here by Elephant, and here by Artsy). Pairing close-cropped images of genitalia, some in the act of fucking, and others superimposed with text which is often taken from contributions of actual statements or gleaned from news headlines.
(For some reason, the lighting reacted really bizarrely with my phone and Pearlie’s, both Androids.)
I think it’s pretty obvious that my favourites are the ones with the text, though there is something intriguing and, dare I say, attractive about the large-scale ones. The cropping is such a conservative use of space, but maintains a gracefulness about it, if that makes sense. I need to think about this some more, because I think it’s a bit easy to cop out and there are obvious ways to read the show, but also those readings are often uninteresting, so… uh, stay tuned???
From Archway, we ended up by Southbank at the Hayward for Diane Arbus! Alas, no pictures were allowed to be taken. So, uh… we went ham outside.
I will say, though, that Diane Arbus made me feel very encouraged to capture things on film, so to speak. Even just taking photos of your phone. It’s a kind of bearing witness, you know?
(This was in the ladies’ bathroom at the Hayward.)
Here’s a photo from a book that was out there. I think that’s a good note to end on.