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FFAF – Urban Outfitters

By the time we made it to the fourth (our third) stop on the crawl, we felt we had consumed more than our fair share of art for one evening. And we had read one too many cue cards explaining artists’ mission statements and modus operandi. In fact, I now feel confident enough in the art of the blurb to make bold generalizations about the categorization these cues fall under. There is the PR bullshit, which either makes no sense and/or seems to bear no relevance to the art on show. There is the ‘A-ha’ card, which shakes your heart with the insight those few words afford you into the mind of the creator. And there is the blurb that you really don’t want to read because you’re enthralled by not knowing what this art is about, and yet you can’t stop yourself leaning over and learning about the processes by which this mysterious piece was conceived; and the mystique is shattered. Urban Outfitters: Basic Shapes, a fittingly trendy exhibition, introduced a new, wildly left-field approach to the cue card: Confusion. The placing of a card on a wall or beam, around which there is more than one contender for the recipient of this informative insight. This one is pretty locale-specific, it can’t be used just anywhere. But it does mean that I could have been looking at, and now reviewing, art, or I could have been transfixed pondering home furnishing. And this made it very difficult to concentrate. I was just about sure that some of the people there knew which things were art.

Miroir 13 - Jump, by Sarah Bryan

But the best thing we discovered after wading through clothes, and then Sci-Fi ‘installation’ and blurbs, were Sarah Bryan’s unassuming black and white stills. They were tucked amongst the denims, but these old Miroir (sports mag) covers jumped up with multi-medias by Bryan where just what we needed to set us back into the aesthetically pleasing comfort zone. Good enough to rival Ines’s Place-stealers.

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