• Heromc

    Martin Creed: Work No.1636, 2013. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Genevieve Hanson

Art

Exhibition: Farts, cacti, sellotape and 7000 white balloons feature in the Martin Creed's What's the Point of It?

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Someone farted all the way through the speech given by the Hayward’s curator about the opening of Martin Creed’s What’s the Point of It? to a crowd of journalists. It took a while for everyone to realise that these fart noises were coming from behind us, and it was actually an audio element in Creed’s show.

That was just the start of it. Minutes later I was alone upstairs in the show, kicking, suffocating and waving my arms to make tidal waves in a small glass room filled with 7000 balloons. Later I watched a man play a piece written by Creed on the piano, stood in front of gargantuan walls covered in prints made using broccoli, and I stood on the terrace of the gallery looking over London’s skyline next to a massive screen displaying a film of Creed’s wobbling penis.

“I am suspicious of galleries,” Creed told us, “they’re just rooms with special lights and paint.” Which perhaps explains the layout of this miraculous show. Not happy with making work and exhibiting it in the confines of the enormous gallery, Creed decided to take matters into his own hands and begin transforming the space according to him. Subsequently you’ll find Creed’s stamp on almost everything; the corridors, toilets, stairwells and terraces have all been filled with joyous work. He’s even programmed the curtains of an otherwise boring window to open and close automatically. Nothing is left un-magicked.

In short, this has to be one of the most exhilarating, fun shows in the history of retrospectives. Colours! Enormous spinning neon lettering! Music! Stacked chairs! Balloons! Nudity! A Ford Focus! Nothing is complicated, all he wants is for you, the viewer, to enjoy this and be involved with it as much as physically possible. From the stacked toilet paper to the balloon room and the constant noises, bells, whistles, farts, rainbows and dogs, this show is a joyous, soft-play area for an adult. It’s pleading with you to not think but to actually enjoy it. And what exactly is “it?” asked a journalist. Creed shrugged, “it’s something I think about a lot, but I still don’t understand.”

What’s the Point of it? is on show at the Hayward Gallery until Sunday 27 April.

  • 1

    Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the exhibition. Photos by Linda Nylind.

  • 2

    Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the exhibition. Photos by Linda Nylind.

  • 3

    Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the exhibition. Photos by Linda Nylind.

  • 4

    Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the exhibition. Photos by Linda Nylind.

  • 5

    Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the exhibition. Photos by Linda Nylind.

  • 6

    Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the exhibition. Photos by Linda Nylind.

  • 7

    Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery: Inside the exhibition. Photos by Linda Nylind.

  • 2

    Martin Creed: Work No.960, 2008. Installation view courtesy Ikon Gallery, Birmingham,

  • 3

    Martin Creed: Work No.916, Boxes, 2008. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Ellen Page Wilson

  • 4

    Martin Creed: Work No.200, Half the air in a given space, 2008. Installation at Galerie Analix B & L Polla, Geneva, Switzerland, 1998 (Detail) Courtesy Il Giardino dei Lauri, © the artist, Image courtesy the artist

  • 5

    Martin Creed: Work No.88, A sheer of paper crumpled into a ball, 1995

  • 6

    Martin Creed: Work No. 1095, 2011. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
    Photo credit: Alex Delfanne

  • 7

    Martin Creed: Work No. 1095.

  • 1

    Martin Creed: Work No.1636, 2013. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Genevieve Hanson

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Main

    Artist Larry van Pelt wants to spread the word that “Jesus in life makes a difference.” Already a keen artist, Florida-based Larry decided to use his creative skills to spread the message, and began drawing Jesus in a number of different working environments. His collection involves a huge range of work scenarios, including a truck driver, a secretary, a carpet layer, a bodybuilder and a french horn player.

  2. List

    We’ve long admired the work of Californian set designer and art director Adi Goodrich. A veritable mistress of creating the sort of strange, cartoon-like scenes that pop with colour and ideas, she’s worked with big-name clients like Michel Gondry and Wieden+Kennedy, but she recently got in touch about an intriguing solo exhibition at The Standard hotel in Hollywood, entitled Like Thiiiiis. The show takes the form of an installation in a glass box behind the hotel’s reception desk, and features a number of images that look to show what it means to be a young creative at the start of your career.

  3. Main

    In a beautiful profile in The Guardian recently, journalist Tim Lewis travelled out to the Hollywood hills to peek behind the gates of Hockney’s jungle-like home to get a glimpse of what the now 77-year-old artist is up to. As it happened, he had been very busy indeed: making a whole bunch of new paintings that are, in classic Hockney-style, moving in a totally different direction from his previous work.

  4. List

    Remember Kim Keever? Back in the summer of 2013, the New York based artist wowed us with his amazing landscapes created in 200-gallon tanks of water and what’s more, he let us in on his process with some fascinating set-up shots. Now, like many a painter before him, Kim has moved from landscapes to more abstract creations albeit within the context of his sculptural practice.

  5. List

    This project by artist Erica Allen is an oldie but such a goodie. Way back in 2008 California-born, Brooklyn-based Erica decided to merge a collection of faces from found barbershop posters with discarded shots of studio backdrops, creating a series of oddly alluring fictional portraits. Removed from their original context, the freshly-trimmed gents pictured come across as utterly anonymous and strangely distant, connected to one another only by a crisp shape-up and a gaze fixed somewhere in the distance. And if that rainbow backdrop didn’t inspire the album artwork for Drake’s Nothing Was the Same then I don’t know what did.

  6. List

    Edmund Clark is one of the most interesting artists working today, exploring what is arguably the defining issue of the past 13 years. He’s interested in the wars waged by the USA and UK in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the fall-out from this foreign policy and how it impacts on us here at home. His new book The Mountains of Majeed continues this theme, as it’s a reflection on “the end of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan through photography, found imagery and Taliban poetry.”

  7. List

    The secluded French port of Le Havre is a very particular place. Closed off by barriers, it is staffed solely by men, and jobs there are strictly only passed on from father to son. All of which made it the perfect backdrop for artist JR’s contribution to the Women Are Heroes project, which saw him collaborate with the dockers to create a huge image of a woman’s eyes on a 363-metre long container ship.

  8. List

    The bright, woozy haze of Wojciech Fangor’s psychedelic paintings is mesmerising. It’s even more so having learnt that the Polish artist, who worked during the 1960s, created these Op art masterpieces entirely in isolation, working in Eastern Europe having not seen the similar works being created in America and Europe by the likes of Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. As such, while the images feel familiar; there’s also something exotic about them, pulsing with light created using intensely coloured oil paint applied in thin layers. A new show named Colour-Light-Space opens next month at London’s 3 Grafton Street gallery, and will display a number of works by Wojciech from the 1960s and 1970s that demonstrate his mastery of all three words in the title. It’s fascinating to think of the artist working on these beautiful optical illusions and explorations of the power of painting well before similar works were created elsewhere in the world, and it’s great to have his work celebrated in the way it deserves.

  9. List

    Mark Lazenby is the go-to guy for collage that just works. We last featured the artist two years ago and since then his portfolio of pieced together artworks has exploded with even more impressive works and a real exploration of materials and collage techniques.

  10. List

    There’s not a pie in the cultural world that James Franco isn’t ready and willing to stick a finger into, and to prove it the actor, director, poet and musician has just announced a new exhibition of his artworks, entitled Fat Squirrel, which is to be held at London’s Siegfried Contemporary gallery. The show is an undeniably eclectic collection, including a number of self portraits of the artist in the guise of various famous historical figures, a deer orgy entitled Triple Team, and some bright painterly collages, not to mention the eponymous overweight rodents which are undoubtedly our favourites.

  11. List

    I’m known for my sweet tooth and ability to consume an obscene amount of cakes, sweets and biscuits in one sitting, so it’ll come as no surprise that I was instantly drawn to Will Cotton’s sugary scenes of candy-laced lands.

  12. List

    Time and again Amy Woodside gets in touch to let us know about new projects she’s cooked up and time and again we’re powerless to resist them. The New York-based artist is focussed to a fault on her fine art practice where iconic letterforms emerge from meticulously registered screen printing and frantic flourishes of spray paint. Where first she caught our eye with multicoloured wordplay, the constant reduction and refinement of her process has resulted in a new series’ of totemic words like ‘Hero’, ‘Cash’, ‘Hoax’ and ‘Like’, pre-loaded with cultural context and double meaning, writ large on the canvas. What’s the meaning behind them? The interpretation is up to you, but Amy always seems to be critiquing pop culture with its own visual vernacular and playing fast and loose with our ambiguous use of language.

  13. List

    The Dutch/Brazilian artist Rafaël Rozendaal is best known for his digital artworks that often take the form of webpages but as he told us at our 2013 creative symposium Here he is increasingly interested in exploring his fascination with light and colour in real-world scenarios. Most recently this has taken the form of his hyper-colourful abstract lenticular paintings, which are made up of layers of different frames and so appear to move when viewed from different angles.