Martin Creed: What's the point of it?

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Bring me home, please

Please, don't miss Martin Creed: What's the point of it? at the Hayward Gallery if you're in London. It is visually stunning, very entertaining and it doesn't even require you to wriggle with your brain if you don't want to. In fact, i think this is contemporary art for people who can't suffer to see the words 'contemporary' and 'art' side by side. But don't quote me on this, i never tried to bring a contemporary art-hater to a retrospective of an artist who won the Turner Prize with Work No 227: The Lights Going On and Off, an installation in which the lights of an otherwise empty gallery were turned on and off every five seconds.

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Martin Creed, Work no 960

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Work No. 1094, 2011

0Installation view,Work no. 1092,2011,Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind  (8).jpg
Installation view,Work no. 1092, 2011,Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

Also i am not entirely impartial when it comes to Martin Creed. I love his work. Whether it's the Sick Films in which people enter an empty white space and proceed to vomit on the floor, the mocking neon signs or the cactus plants neatly positioned by size. I LOVE his work.

What's the point of it? is a retrospective which aim wasn't to simply assemble most of Creed's most representative pieces, but to provide a multi-sensory experience. As the following two works will easily demonstrate...

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Work no. 1092, 2011. (Photo by Happy Famous Artists)

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Work no. 1092, 2011. (photo by Happy Famous Artists)

The word MOTHERS almost literally hits you as you enter the gallery. You instinctively duck as the 6 gigantic neon letters slowly gyrate and dominate the whole room. It is fun and slightly menacing. I wonder how the Hayward wasn't served a loud "Health and Safety No No." Meanwhile, 39 metronomes lined up on the floor gently tick at various speeds.

0Installation view, Work no. 200, 1998, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind(1).jpg
Installation view, Work no. 200, 1998, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

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Martin Creed, Work no 200

The small glass room above is filled with some 7000 balloons. I'm claustrophobic. Even the title of the installation, Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, made me hyperventilate.

0Installation view,Work No. 1806, 2014, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind (33).jpg
Installation view,Work No. 1806, 2014, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

The exhibition is also an optical party: the walls serve as a happy splashy backdrop for the works. Creed covered them with layers of paint, stripes of adhesive tape and even with rows over rows of small broccoli prints.

0Installation view,Work No. 1585, 2013,Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind (3).jpg
Installation view,Work No. 1585, 2013,Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

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Photo by Happy Famous Artists

There were also videos from the Sick Film and Shit Film series. Work No. 660 shows a rather elegant and not entirely at ease young woman entering the frame and defecating in the middle of a white gallery.

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Work No. 660, 2007

I wish i could find online videos from the Sick Film series. I don't care much for the crap ones but the vomit series is mesmerizing. Some people throw up generously. Others struggle to do so and eventually give up. "Living," as the artist explains "is a matter of trying to come to terms with what comes out of you... That includes shit and sick and horrible feeling. The problem with horrible feelings is you can't paint them. But horrible vomit - you can film that."

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Work Number 1029. Photo via Purple

Rise and fall of an erection on to the Hayward's terrace. Creed has distributed works outside of the usual gallery space: on the terrace, in the bathroom, in the lifts of both the Royal Festival Hall and of the Hayward Gallery.

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Work 1686 (Ford Focus). Photo by Happy Famous Artists

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Photo by Happy Famous Artists

So what's the point of this exhibition? I guess there are many answers to that question. For me, it's about getting lost in sensations, being surprised, feeling awe and disgust at the same time and having a very happy moment that lasted long after i exited the show.

0Installation view Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind(2).jpg
Installation view Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

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Martin Creed, Work no 629


0Installation view,Work No. 1110, 2011,Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind (31).jpg
Installation view,Work No. 1110, 2011,Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind


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Martin Creed, Work no 88

0Installation view Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind(20).jpg
Installation view Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

0Installation view, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind (33).jpg
Installation view, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

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Martin Creed, work no. 1095

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Work No. 1315

0Installation view,Work No. 928, 2008, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind  (21).jpg
Installation view,Work No. 928, 2008, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

0Installation view, Work No. 916, 2008, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind  (5).jpg
Installation view, Work No. 916, 2008, Martin Creed What's the point of it, Hayward Gallery. © the artist. Photo Linda Nylind

Ah! Martin Creed! Even the man looks very cool.

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Photo by Happy Famous Artists

Martin Creed: What's the point of it? is at the Hayward Gallery until Monday 5 May 2014.

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