I have been to two temples. But I have to confess I didn’t pray in any of them. To the first one, the Apple store in Covent Garden, I went because it has Mac toilets. White, immaculate, where you can piss by spiritual infusion. Every time I go I wonder who cleans them. If it is the mega cools with the apple who charge you without till or the usual ones, the back shop of the social operating system, the unglamorous.
The second temple was the White Cube in Bermondsey. When I went to the toilet I had a déjà vu. The same company must design all contemporary cult toilets. I know it is on purpose, both Apple and the White Cube (there is a reason the gallery is called like the book) allude in their design to the temples. And both house cult objects. What I am not convinced about is that society is secularised on one side and then it get re-religiosified on the other. I prefer to put some parsley by a kitsch saint that to pray to iTunes. Even if both are made in China and have wi-fi. Well, in reality, being a minimalist, I don’t like either.
Neither did I like the exhibition at the ICA on political, feminist and gay art. I don’t understand why they always get mixed. The gay bit wasn’t very problematic. It was about representing what isn’t often represented. Fine. The political and feminist bits were worse. There there is a problem. The conflict between form and content. In art, form always wins over content. If the content is protest content and the form is conventional, the piece is conventional. If the form is rebellious the work is rebellious, but the content might not be understood, even if it is conventional. That is why what is called political art usually doesn’t work. Because, when we want the message to be understood, the form has to be comfortable, and if it is comfortable it is because it has been seen a lot. And that is the impression I got, I had seen it all before even if I had never seen it. That is why I had to go to another gallery, because of the feeling of not having seen anything. But the White Cube, apart from a very interesting optical illusion by Galan, didn’t have much. Blandness saturates.
Illustration: “Fine, thanks”, from the Feminist gooseneck barnacles series.