Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How & Why

Newport Street Gallery are currently exhibiting Gavin Turk’s artistic work, for the first time since 2002. The quiet atmosphere as I walk in is relaxing, apart from the disturbing cackling noise. Walking through the second floor galleries, the cackling grows louder until faced with a creepy life sized automaton named HMS Ulysses Gentleman Jim, 2005. This chuckling robot, certainly attracted much attention but that was it.

The exhibition does not have any placards, providing artwork titles or descriptions. This frustrated me. I gather that Turk wants the art to speak for itself, but when you are staring at some bin bags, it is difficult to take the artwork seriously. I would have been interested to read a small description describing Turk’s artistic process, at least it would keep my mind occupied. I have always struggled with modern art, desperately wanting to like it, wanting to be entertained by it, but Turk’s exhibit is no exception to the rule. Looking at a dirty sleeping bag scrunched up does not inspire me to return. Sorry Turk.


Jessica Clot


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