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Blog - Richard Downes

Poetic Review

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White sculpture depicting a woman's torsoPress View
Lee Bul Crashing 30 May – 19 August 2018
Adapt to Survive; Notes from the Future
Hayward Gallery

From time to time I get an invite from the Hayward Gallery to attend Press Views. Donning my DAO identity I assume the right to be there confident that I can make something of it but Lee Bul confounds me, sees me struggle to review once and again and throw papers at the scrap bin. My only hope now is to summarize from my pen photos, relics from the day, and hope to find a pattern and an opinion where there is no pattern or opinion to be found, Hence recourse to something I’m led to believe is poetry.

Thunder and rain gray skies no lightning
Architecture reflects architecture
Towers in showers on the pavement
Lacking knowledge tree design
As above is not as below
Perspective is less sure in these glass eyes
Straining to adapt optical lens to camera lens
Steel and fabric umbrellas
Such that exists outside resides inside
Cultural inventions
Heading towards the Hayward
With my own Lee Bul crystals
shimmering Swarovski’s drip and puddle
Darwin adapts to survive on the side
HG Wells teleporting time machines
Reveal the voice of a stammering fox
Inside galleries the horizon becomes closer
Sargasso monsters created through Eyre
Here comes Rochester’s woman in the attic
Lee Bul in attendance showing appreciation
Phallic cyborg pieces hang before a window
A woman looking out at a man looking inward
Aidan Turner according to some should be ogled
A feminist mantra shouting hash tag you too
A zep like creation portending disaster
A thunder crash, silver foil floor
Throwing tourists upside down, distorted
Inclusive-Inclusive Inclusive not inclusive
Signs on toilet doors, toilet art
The outside comes inside again
A mirror, a crystal, reflecting
A woman in my non inclusive toilet
Is this the right place for her picture
A pocket, a photo, hers, pocketed for memories
She; here in the building now
Not Lee Bul but she who should be with me
Zhandra Rhodes coloured flags retain hues
Hung upside down in reservoirs of rainwater
Brutalism is softened and celebrated
Marina the archivist listens to activist
Historic campaigns, cripples in chains on the South Bank
Shadows hover over H20 contained, restricted
Politically, philosophically we dive into biology
Labyrinths of glass and LED lighting find women
Working for the institution putting modeling into the picture
And I find myself fragmented, torn into shards of metal
Which I twist into not knowing which way is up
Drifting in and out of focus, discombobulated
Disorientated, Dystopic, Dysmorphic
A horned cyborg, visionary futures
Of technology supporting and displaying bodies
Out of the ordinary and on display
Like disabled people Unlimited on the South Bank
No leg, no arm, no head, an outer casing
For the internalised oppression of womanhood
Constrained or challenging the beauty myth
His dark and lighter materials finding fun and horror
An Amaryllis is sent Dam Bustering Daddy longleg style
Into the light and the darkness that splinters behind it
Before scampering back across the structure
That is a ceiling below a roof outside of the Hayward
On a day spent with Lee Bul and stinkless fish on the South Bank

Should you want to see the photos I am responding to see them here

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