Dundee Contemporary Arts until November 14th
Club culture is the ultimate creative hub. Beyond but probably because of its dazed and confused hedonism, in the right hands the dance-floor and chill-out room are inspirational eye and ear openers. Both artists in these parallel shows are direct descendents of such creative speak-easies in what is itself a pan-generational mash-up. Barber came out of the 1980s Scratch Video scene, the visual cut n’ paste equivalent of Hip Hop, and here showcases a gloriously scattershot selection of retrospective films that manipulate disparate source materials to take a wryly oppositionist stance, even as ad-land has poached his visual language. The show’s title work merges Scalextric and a Sysiphian M25 scenario by way of an endlessly hypnotic highway. A new piece, ‘India Shout Match’ is a pricelessly homespun gladiatorial spectacle that could yet make a game-show.
Bloom’s large-scale installations reference first-generation video games in a dizzying immersive pin-ball of sound and vision that resembles the zing of a retro-styled son et lumiere sci-fi fun palace. One half-expects Jon Finch’s early 1970s dandified trash-glam portrayal of swinging Ladbroke Grove adventurer Jerry Cornelius in the film of Michael Moorcock’s novel, ‘The Final Programme’ to swish through one of the ante-room doors. It’s the insistently subliminal repetition, repetition, repetition of both artists’ works, however, that really makes its presence felt with an infectiously subversive humour designed to feed the hungry young minds of those attending the Discovery festival of film for young people elsewhere in the DCA.
The List, November 2010