I met Martyn, a gentleman and a London-Berlin based freelance curator, first in New York when we were both taking part at the curatorial seminar organized by ICI, during last Performa. He was very enthusiastic about his upcoming project, Clarence Mews, which is a series of commissioned solo projects at his studio apartment in Hackney, East London. Now, I am in London for some reasons, and today, I went to the opening of the second solo project by Timothy Davies from Clarence Mews. The installation from the Berlin based artist is composed of some elements -in different media, departing from the popular cartoon strip, Garfield and Jon Arbuckle created by Jim Davis; and developing an ironic narration about our relationship with pets, especially cats… I loved the furry pillow installed on Martyn´ bed as a metaphor of a cat. As written in the tiny publication that is designed to accompany the show, “the companionship of animals, according to a recent academic study found that 90% of pet owners, cat owners in particular, preferred the company of their pet to that of another human being.”
It is not the first time that a sort of domestic space turns into an exhibition space, however for this one, being located in a personal environment has a direct conceptual impact on the work, and the privacy as a critical element of the discussion is not included into its content. So, the context operates as an optional base for the work. It is not so important to know that it is Martny´s flat, but somehow it feels good to know that. The project, Clarence Mews seems to grow into another critical example of how alternative spaces can create conceptual bases for collaborative work, and how ready-made spaces can influence the way we look at the art works. I personally enjoyed gazing the small flat; especially bookshelves (Aynd Rand next to J. Lacan...), the restroom (I should update myself with cosmetics; such a cool brand name: Motion-Lotion) and the view from the window meanwhile looking at the works.
For more info: www.clarencemews.com.