S Mark Gubb, Dominic From Luton, Bermingham and Robinson
‘I could be so good for you’ said Richard Robinson to Dominic Allan in The Royal Academy toilets last Christmas. More backslapping than pre-Christmas Christmas box. An offer of a title of a show under construction involving S Mark Gubb, Bermingham and Robinson and Dominic Allan aka Dominic From Luton. I Could Be So Good For You is an extended hand for a show without theme. It harks back to a 1980s pre-internet, pre-Simon Cowell, pre-Cheryl, pre-Easyjet where hopping around Europe didn’t happen at the click of a mouse and 3-digit security code. It’s when we were kids and all around us knew Britain that bit better but disliked it just as much as today. A title totally fitting for a jumble sale of a project in Cathy Lomax’s enduringly elastic London project space; Transition Gallery Year 9.
Bermingham and Robinson turn their new studio furniture left behind by the previous incumbent (ironically S Mark Gubb) into art, instantly. And it’s beautiful. Like a Fortnum and Masons own Pot Noodle. ‘The Future Is Cancelled!’ Last Days of Man On Earth is a re-worked 1950’s film poster, A1 size. The imagery removed and discarded by Bermingham and Robinson. All that's left is a black hole. ‘A City Screams In Terror’, The Creature Walks Amongst Us. Image gone. ‘Invasion USA’, “It Will Scare The Pants Off You!” Image, subject gone. Like the past is the present and the present is the past. Look look and look again.
S Mark Gubb’s beautiful and off-kilter reworking in Topps Tiles tiles of a metal band’s own front man’s suicide. Knife, gun, blood and guts. A man sleeping in death. A nod fittingly yet unknowingly to a Grand Britannia in moral decline where Cardiff based Gubb captures the spirit of a free-for-all smash and grab 'yout' culture.
A summer of unlove; reebok Classics and no more heroes anymore. WE HATE WATFORD proclaims Allan. An orange flare to other Lutonians in London-Luton or London. A fire engine red text on white banner. 5m x1. A pointless call to arms, to peace, to dissect in white van man language why two towns so geographically close remain so tragically apart. Then end-game. Dominic From Luton as Margaret Thatcher in a burnt-out wheelchair last seen being used by his own now disabled father. A post - James Allan and Sons James Allan and Sons (a family business, the heirs Julian and Dominic). The debris of a dream, I could be so good for you...
3 Opinions where posted
by George Catamint 04.11.11 17:52
High Jinks and high anxiety in this exhibition devoted to a crisis in masculinity. From building a den for a rat to lovingly forming the Argos Catalogue into a colourful sculpture to the slightly worrying tendency to dress up in drag (as Maggie T!)Report this opinion as offensive
How to be a man....
by Grace Davies 09.11.11 22:17
The show definitely had a male flavour, yet it wasn't macho or brash.. and the work was well made, displayed and curated.
Lovely stuff...particularly Bermingham and Robinson.
by alvgt 17.11.11 17:16
'It harks back to a 1980s pre-internet, pre-Simon Cowell, pre-Cheryl, pre-Easyjet where hopping around Europe didn't happen at the click of a mouse and 3-digit security code. It's when we were kids and all around us knew Britain that bit better but disliked it just as much as today.'
That extract from the press release absolutely nails it. For me 'I could be so good for you' has a nostalgia that somehow recalls watching ' The Big Breakfast', jam sandwichs and the scene where they follow the American into the toilet in "Trainspotting'. Maybe it's because I was a child in the era that I've mentally placed the exhibition in but it really does remind me of when the world outside of England seemed much much further away.