Sexuality, relationships, desire, community, public – personal space
A new exhibition of artist Prem Sahib’s most recent work has been chosen to be displayed at the ICA, a frequent collaborator of more well known British radicals such as Eddie Peake and George Henry Longly.
As I enter the exhibition at the institute of contemporary arts for Prem Sahib the first impression is one of massive space and minimal sculpture. This effect of minimalism also carries through to colour, where large simple geometries are also simple in colour and texture of pastels, monochromes, and eggshells.
Three frames filled hoodies and puffer jackets are stacked on top of each other forming daring geometric sculptures that balance precariously, reinforced by eggs placed on the frames’ edges further enhancing the effect. Puffer jacket’s compressed to such a small degree portray a hug of the body physically impossible through a human embrace.
Spatial sculptures are extracted from the most intense and interesting facets of gay cultures and communities. Two doorways made out of concrete and neon glass are extruded in blocks in an almost sketch up manner. The pair represent both women’s and men’s bathroom. Identical in their abstract forms, save for the men’s being covered in handprints to indicate the gender of the inhabitants of it’s gay club culture.
Moving through I encounter a third sculpture, a plane white shirt (men’s) hung on the wall covered around the belly by foundation titled Basic Man, MAC Foundation on Zara Shirt, a sign to the gay connotations that exist within the consumer culture.
It many ways the simplicity of the exhibition succeeds in communicating its investigation of spaces from gay culture such as clubs and communities, and their architecture. In this sense the work is direct and boasts a confidence.
Overall the abstraction was distant, and didn’t allow me to connect with the objects that were drawn far from their colourful contexts they originate from throughout the diversity of gay cultures and spaces.
ICA (2016) Prem Sahib: Side On Available at: https://www.ica.org.uk/whats-on/prem-sahib-side-on Accessed March 2015