Sunday, May 4, 2008

Negative rview of Helen Chadwick Exhibition

Review for Critical practice

This is a review of Helen Chadwick’s work exhibited at the Barbican Gallery some five years ago.

The exhibition begins with Ego Geometria Sum, a very complex installation and sculptures made in plywood and photographs of the artist. She says that she is re-living a psychological journey from childhood to adulthood. However the majority of the photographs are of an adult Helen in which she appears to be oblivious to any meaning except her own narcissistic wish to attract The Gaze.

Chadwick claims to bring to attention issues of the feminine kind but indeed the very modelling of her own child like body is offensive to young and old women alike. This is a pressurised invitation for those looking up to her as a role model to immerse in all sorts of rituals in order to keep up to her dress size, therefore ending up with bulimia, anorexia and many other eating disorders. My question is whether Chadwick would have used her own body, had she been obese?

The theme continues in Mutability which is composed of several different pieces of works predominantly collages with the photographs s of he own body, as if suggesting a return to paradise. Again here we can see clearly her narcissistic trend.

She is also exploiting animal foetus, this is seen in her Chimpanzee Cameo and other plates. Chadwick keep on with the exploitation of animals in a series of sculptures made out of meat which she called Meat Abstracts. The sight of animal tongues, meat and poultry arranged in a grotesque way are an absolute obscenity and shows a great lack of respect for the public and the animals too.

Not worth the money! A butcher’s shop.


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