Exhibition Review: Martin Creed's 'Whats the Point of it?'

Exhibition Review: Martin Creed's 'Whats the Point of it?'

Exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank : Review

The sarcastically ironic and witty tone to Creed’s exhibit and work is epitomised in his title, inviting the usual generic criticisms assumed when general audiences are presented with so-called ‘modern art’. Creed’s exhibit is a huge invitation to mockery of his work and to the viewers themselves; not only does he live up to the stereotypical expectations of bizarre and ‘unskilled’ pieces of art in pieces such as the framed scribbles in pen, pencil and marker and the uncomfortable viewing of the video art of bodily functions but he also allows these expectations to be subverted and overturned by the sheer enjoyment and wonder of some of the artworks, whether its marveling at the looming spinning neon sign “MOTHERS” as you immediately walk into the exhibition space or the curiosity evoked by the various automated objects such as the inconspicuous opening and closing door or the extending and collapsing grand piano.


            Creed’s exhibition is ultimately an exploration, one which begins with him issuing the question “What’s the point of it?” until viewers become sidetracked by the bizarre space which Creed creates, in which he merrily toys with and manipulates his audience towards the realisation that there can simultaneously be a point and no point at all to art and his work. Often his work comes across as simple curiosities that incite a childish sense of enjoyment such as with “Work No.200” as viewers become encased in a room of balloons. Not only does the work force us to confront our perceptions of space and how we interact with the world encompassing us, but it is simultaneously hugely fun, scary and exciting in equal parts. Thus Creed is able to succinctly ensure us that there is and is not a point whilst confronting us with different perspectives on art and our interactions with the world.

Work No. 200

Published by Rebecca Elise

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