Wednesday, 5 November 2014

William Morris & Andy Warhol

I admit I was incredulous when first hearing of this forthcoming show.  Largely I suppose from Warhol’s reputation for celebrity solipsism, as if everything he touched was ipso facto worthy of attention, even adulation.  So unlike our dear WM, surely?
But at the WM Society last Saturday hearing Jeremy Deller preview his forthcoming show Love is Enough at Oxford MAO – see  here

persuaded me that the connections, parallels and comparisons between the two make for a thoughtful exploration of similarities and contrasts, in the same way as with English Magic Deller produced a creative-critical, if quirky, appraisal of WM’s life and works for today.  Flower-patterning in diverse colourways is just one of the unlikely meeting points; so are hand-crafted multiple reproductions,  and the promotion of collaborative enterprise over artistic individualism, within a contradictory context dominated by one figure.  Deller is moreover convinced that both WM and AW shared an anti-industrial, anti-capitalist political perspective, which is less persuasive but nonetheless provocative.   I am also intrigued by his choice of title, for as well as being well-nigh unreadable today, Love is Enough was one of WM’s failures in his repeated attempt to combine visual and verbal arts.  The words, decorations and typography just did not match up. and the endeavour was more or less abandoned. UPDATE BELOW  Moreover, the text dates from the years when for WM love was certainly not enough, indeed seriously lacking.  It may have been a substitute for the loss – temporary as it turned out – of Janey, but it was certainly extremely  melancholy.  So how will Jeremy present it?  i look forward to seeing. 

indeed, as  Januszczak said in STimes: 'after seeing the exhibition I made the huge mistake of actually reading Love is Enough the pseudo-medieval morality play.  The exhibition is provocative and fun. The morality play is twaddle'  [You dont say!, though Janusczek is one of few to offer a simple account of the text.] 'it's an escape into the world of Lancelots and Guineveres so complete that if I were deciding on the categories I would file under Love Unhinged... a mad flight from the realities of late Victorian England.'    And  even worse as a literary endeavour.

No comments:

Post a Comment