The Null Device

Crude Oils

Yesterday, Your Humble Narrator went to Banksy's latest exhibition, titled "Crude Oils". Rats swarming over the corpse of a security guardIt was held in Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, in a shop which had been transformed into a ruined art gallery for the duration of the exhibition. By this, I mean that it had been filled with props such as smashed artefacts and a skeleton in a security guard's uniform, and then populated with dozens of live rats, which were kept provided with pellets and water in shattered vases and such. Because of the rats (which, apparently, were borrowed from a film animal company and had probably appeared in any films, TV shows and commercials made in London recently and containing rats), the main part of the gallery was behind a plexiglass screen and one had to sign a disclaimer, promising not to bother the rats. Time inside the main part of the gallery was limited to five minutes per person.

The exhibition itself was quite entertaining, in characteristic Banksy fashion, consisting of various artworks "remixed" and updated for the grim meathook present, as seen through Banksy's cynical, kitchen-sink sensibility. There were romantic landscape paintings updated with police incident boards, CCTV cameras, submarines, vandalism and violence. A classical nude statue was covered in tattoos, and a bust wore a gimp mask. All the usual sort of thing, and enough to not disappoint any Banksy fan. Though the rats were the stars of the show, and their presence (which one could see, if not smell, all around) made the most striking impression.

The exhibition is open for two more days, 11am to 8pm. Meanwhile, my photos thereof are here.

There are 1 comments on "Crude Oils":

Posted by: datakid http:// Mon Oct 24 14:04:37 2005

I think banksy might have been there while we were on our last day in london last week - there was this guy wandering around "measuring" things, like the paintings and noting them in his scrap book - the problem was that my partner sarah got a look at that scrap book, and it was filled with scrawl - no text...he kinda looked like an artist getting inspired by the art, but he wasn't scetching or anything, and no one bothered him, and he could stay in the plexy glass as long as he wanted...anyway, maybe it's just our over fertile imaginations - we enjoyed the show as well - the smell was awesome - so tactile!

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