Martin Creed: what’s the point of it?

In the end, there is a point to Martin Creed’s first major retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in London. His unusual work is both entertaining and disturbing.

The exhibition occupies the whole gallery, plus sculptures on different terraces, entrance foyer, lift. Even the toilets are part of the show! The display is impressive, first because it appeals to all your senses (sight, hearing and even humor) and then because the most minimal displays are mixed with extravagant room-size installations. Creed is recognised for his minimalistic work (for example Work No. 88 A sheet of paper A4 crumpled into a ball, 1995), yet full of surprises and wit.

Though I sometimes found his work irritating because of its simplicity (“I could have done that, why did not I think of this before?”), I found it reflects a self-questionning approach to his designs: you might think all his work is absurd (lights going on and off should not be taken too seriously); yet, in the end, you realise the artist is not pretentious but ambiguous. And that is what makes his work interesting.

On the whole, I really appreciated Creed’s exhibition: it was full of surprises, it questionned my perception of art and design, while being very amusing.

“People know what’s fake and what’s not”

– Martin Creed

Martin Creed: What’s the point of it is on at the Hayward Gallery (Southbank Centre) until Sunday 27 April.

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