Review: Living Space, Simon Morris and Brenda Sullivan, Enjoy

Yesterday several classmates and I went to Enjoy gallery to check out Simon Morris and Brenda Sullivan’s Living Space exhibition. The unanimous response from the group was “not my cup of tea”, and I cannot help but think it is because of the obtuse and high-minded visual/spatial language of the exhibit itself. While my classmates worried that they might simply be “too dumb” to work out the meaning set forth in the gallery space, I personally thought the exhibit too self-consciously clever to engage the audience with its concerns directly, if it really had any concerns outside of form. One felt the careful composition, the sensitivity to materials, one felt the craftsmanship of the exhibit. It was a measured composition. It was also sterile, which can in itself be interesting when it elucidates an artist’s point or acts as a point of inference for the audience, but did the sterility work that way? It wasn’t clear to me. I felt in its chairs and coffee table and bookshelf an attempt to evoke society, the home, the titular living space, but in order to say what about it all? One does not, of course, live in such sterile spaces, and the chairs and coffee table looked too low-set to be comfortable, and perhaps that was part of the artist’s point – a tension between the expectations around lived-in spaces and their realities? Ultimately, though, it left us disengaged, and indeed it seemed the artists had provided little commentary of their own to engage anyone with.

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