Black Mirror is a major new exhibition bringing together works from 26 contemporary artists in order to interrogate the relationship between political unrest and creativity. The collection of collages, caricatures, paintings, photography and installation, spanning all three floors of the Saatchi Gallery, sparks with light relief and delves deeper into thought-provoking social commentary.
But there's a glitch. With no text panels or labels, and a proliferation of big ideas, it's difficult to see the wood from the trees. The lack of coherent narrative, thematic or otherwise, leaves you feeling vulnerable and ignorant, triggering seismic waves of self-doubt. But wait: maybe that's the point. This is an exhibition that simultaneously explores collective unease and questions the status quo. How ironic! Lofty ideas aside, the exhibition as a whole fails to strike an impact. Interest wanes rapidly; a coffee in the charming gallery cafe beckons.
That said, there are some great and powerful individual works to scout out if you venture forth. Highlights include a sobering confrontation of poverty in the ‘squalid realism’ of Turner Prize-nominated artist Richard Billingham's Ray's A Laugh photo series; Jessica Craig-Martin's glossy high society shots which squewer the shallow and fickle nature of fame; and the child-like newspaper drawings of Polish artist Aleksandra Mir.
Following the phenomenal success of the Black Mirror Netflix series, originally created by Charlie Brooker in 2011, expectations for this exhibition were running high. Unfortunately, however, the age-old adage 'less is more' rings true here.
|What||Review: Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire, Saatchi Gallery|
|Where||Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London, SW3 4RY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
28 Sep 18 – 13 Jan 19, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|