Black Rat Projects/Gallery 223
137 – 139 Lower Marsh Street
All photos: NoLionsInEngland
Shopping is an evil which I put off until the need is way past the point others might have deemed a shop a necessity, as those who have checked my utilitarian taste in garms can testify. A trip to a department store populated by Giles Walker and Candice Tripp’s morbid paintings and animatronicsconvinces me at least two other people also see the evil inherent in shopping.
Inside this department store we reel and recoil from Candice Tripp’s sinister enfant terrible paintings and Giles Walker’s beastly and at times fetishistic mantronics. The staging of this show will remind many of the Lazardes/Old Vic Leake St tunnel shows though this hardly surprising as we are in essentially the same Victorian engineering structure around the Waterloo train tracks.
In small nooks, many times higher than wide, suspended shop mannequins gave occasional shrugging-off-mortal-coil spasms, I was reminded of a slightly macabre Sam Taylor-Wood, which is a very good thing.
Many there covered their eyes at the gothic horror of the children, terrorising eachother and abusing passersby with twisted senseless barbarities. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
In a room of child’s possessions, a trio of hemp sacks are suspended from the ceiling and inside the live contents squirm and thrust out against their imprisonment…they look like puppies about to be taken to the river but our suspicion is that the contents are not canine. We sense that we are in a department store where man’s suppressed depraved inclinations have been freed of the normal contraints and decorums. Or Poundland.
This is possibly the darkest show I have seen this year and Walker and Tripp are incredibly well matched in their ability to discomfort us. Gloom, depravity, sleaze and sinister threats are the standard BOGOFS in the Walker Tripp store. I received an email today with the subject line “Happy Shopping Day”…there are no happy shopping days, “I’m Not Shopping Here Again” is as good as it gets.