Tuesday, October 2, 2007

He Wants to Make a T-Shirt Out of Your Dreams

And sculptures out of squirrels. No, if you want to know what David Shrigley REALLY wants you should see his Who I Am and What I Want animation - the funniest thing I've seen this year. It's part of his retrospective at the art gallery in Malmö, his 'first in Northern Europe' and including 'around 600 works'. My first thought was 'how has this guy's name managed to evade for so long?' - now I can't turn around without seeing it and god knows probably half of the things I saw in Glasgow had SOME connection to him. I might not have read The Guardian, but he made the t-shirts for the Triptych festival which I ought to have noticed. There were lots of tees in the exhibition, not for sale (except for one) probably to piss you off. I really wanted the one that said 'graphic design', but no one would have understood the irony. And there was the 'worried' t-shirt that Greg was wearing when we saw Deerhoof play in Glasgow. And of course Deerhoof have made the music for one of the songs on the Worried Noodles record - a record Shrigley made years ago but that has only been an empty sleeve and a book with all the lyrics, until now. Lots of bands have put the words to music, including Scarlet's Well - of course. They're playing at the Worried Noodles gig a few day before they come over, and Bid said they'll play their song in Malmö as well. Otherwise I can't wait to hear the contributions, the record is meant to be released while the exhibition is still here. You could also listen to Shrigley's spoken word cd at the exhibition. It's called Shrigley Forced to Speak With Others, probably because he has used other people to read out the texts. I wanted to buy that too but I couldn't see it in the gallery shop. And all those album covers! Of course Shrigley made the cover for Deerhoof's latest album, and on display were the sixteen original paintings that make up the sleeve - all very nice. There was a photograph of a red Kermit frog placed on the bank of a river - I didn't recognise it until I actually saw the copy of ballboy's A Guide to the Daylight Hours lying there in another room. So I guess I saw my first Shrigley work three years ago... In many ways the exhibition was like a trip back to Glasgow - there was sort of a GSA air over the whole thing and lots of pictures from the city of course. The squirrel thing was definitely from Scotland because it was a grey squirrel. I usually like puns - but not when they're made of squirrels. Squirrels are cute - words, usually, are not. The best things were instead the animations, including two music videos for Blur and Bonnie Prince Billy. And another thing I really liked was two table-tennis bats made of plywood - one smaller one that said 'your family', a bigger one that said 'the social services' and two balls in-between that were 'you' and 'your wee sister'. And then OF COURSE we were asked to write about the exhibition for our Visual Communication course! So I should stop here and

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