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15 November 2012 No comments
Take A Seat! Brooks At Tate Britain.Art & Design
Is that a giant Mustard Colt in the corner? "Mindless Mindless" by Jess Flood Paddock at Tate Britain. We have looked before at various ways in which Brooks saddles have acted both as frame and muse to an artist's creative processes. Jess Flood-Paddock's new show "Mindless, Mindless" at Tate Britain provides us with the latest example. Surely that's a colossal Philadelphia Swift we're looking at. Previously, the English sculptor has exhibited outsized hats, outsized shellfish and outsized balls of wool as a means of playing with the viewer's perspective to ultimately try delivering a comment on how human notions of value manifest themselves or mutate when they are pushed up close against Consumer Culture. From an earlier Flood-Paddock show, this gigantic sculpted baseball cap is about thinking big. In Mindless Mindless, she has arranged various coloured pieces on the floor which suggest scaled up leather bike saddles. Overhead, meanwhile, several genuine Brooks saddles attached to seat posts are hanging from wires which span the room. A huge trussed wooden lobster gave critics much food for thought last year. This is designed to invoke the common Underworld practice of marking gang territory by means of slinging a pair of trainers over neighbourhood telephone or electrical cables. Fools, Horses, Etc. - the artist has also installed on top of a Peckham tower block. Ms. Flood Paddock isn't attempting thereby to bring the Brooks name into disrepute, rather she is highlighting the fact (one which we have also dealt with here before) that leather cycling saddles, specifically our ones, can be a popular target for theft given their coveted status among even casual cyclists. Obviously, one of the salient points that Ms. Flood Paddock raises for a viewer who ponders the problem is that a thief working locally can of course steal "back" the same saddle several times from its different "owners". A sustainable business model for sure, but hardly a commendable one, the "used" saddle trade flourishes in the artist's hometown of London. She hammers the point home with a series of projected photos on the room's wall which show parked, locked bicycles devoid of their seatposts and saddles. We feel sure that there's a moral in there somewhere. Mindless Mindless runs until January 6th 2013 at Tate Britain, London.