I thought I’d try something different and write down what comes to mind on walking around an exhibition, with an incy bit of rhyming. The Saatchi Gallery’s Post Pop: East Meets West was my first target…
Whiteread’s book case is black, not white
a flying sink wacked on the wall
and a perspex box makes small
my hero Basquiat’s paint on a door
I’m not sure this is what he saw.
A giant black lock from Moscow hangs
clinks with hostility
and the pussies that riot.
Dirty rags tickle
labelled ‘maps of nickel’
an armchair explodes from the ceiling,
Its origin – a car boot sale in West Ealing?
It foams from the core,
A hoover threatens to eat its particles; spilt on the floor
Kitchen utensils shoved in the corner,
I think there’s something I’m not getting?
Am I cooking dinner? I keep forgetting…
An unfinished installation,
Oh! Then up to the imagination?
If you just saw a lethargic pen and paper,
could it be archived?
could we call it literature?
based on what might have happened
When they met?
As the copy does read, you want us to plead
Where, oh where did the artists go?
Please can they return and make this work
No picture, but I picture them – glee in their smirk
Next is the Chapel
stained glass beauty pokes out of corrugated iron,
and twigs fly from the top
repressed by institution
no plant can photosynthesise in this silver structure
My mind drifts to my heart’s latest rupture
Some irrelevant canvases lead me to gallery three,
where a hideously colourful bucket is named ‘pricks’
on another white wall is fixed,
Hume – Gary not David,
some ‘doors’ in colours faded
I thought I liked him,
forehead wrinkles to a frown
Whiteread’s back with a sculptural light switch,
I thought it real, till I read accompanying pitch
A room filled with arcade machines
Am I in Trocadero?
But alas, no hot dogs.
Oh yeah I’m in Sloane Square
trying to look at art.
I’m that girl.
A piece about selling souls, I see
and at once feel more at ease
Jovially a coca cola sign claims to be
‘the real thing’
not too far sits
a shrine of caviar.
The diamond series make makes my stomach turn,
a gruesome girl covered in jewels with a sickly smile
fails to beguile.
Not that it wanted to.
Basket balls replace Hirst’s cows in equilibrium tank
So Koons was at it before Damien,
I want to get in it and float
The Marlborough sign is actually Malevich’s black square
and a McDonalds vendor sculpture jokes,
at our fast food nation – fun it pokes.
Next to the religion room…
plastic red sculpture of Lenin, Mickey Mouse and Jesus stand
labelled ‘hero, leader, God’
to halt us in our reprimand.
Oh I think I get it.
And there’s a sickle and hammer with a dollar sign,
while last supper guests sit drowning in bubbles opposite
Can’t make it out, but one of them looks quite fit?
Black cloth covered mannequins backs arched
as they pray on the ground
accompanied by the mechanic sound
of plastic bodies rocking.
In the corridor to the next room
a rabbit headed spaghetti man
Donnie Darko of the saucepan
In the sex and body room now
a video of hands applaud
A porn star lies in cupcakes,
Not even partially gnawed
Skeletons fuck on the floor
Richard Prince prints women
fingering their actual insides.
Then at last I come to a room that takes my breath.
On one side a slab of stone reads ‘commandments updating’
and on the other is David Mach’s coat hanger and steel crucifix
And the rest of the room stuns more
drapes of human hair and white glue
make Gu Wenda’s
United Nations: Man and space,
the frailty of humanity lace.
The art history room makes little sense to me,
some colourful pots
‘The Diary of a Victorian dandy’
is a photograph vaguely debaucherous
Not Duchamp urinals lie about –
different colours, different material,
in the next room, a floored box of cereal
And a canvas of Campbell’s soup
called ‘Not Warhol’
‘It’s the real thin, Lenin’ shouts a Coca Cola sign
In a perspex box Oleg’s plastic tennis player’s jump is grand
While Gavin Turk’s pop ghosts eerily lurk over her backhand
And then some extraordinary tapestry I can’t even begin to describe
leads me ‘Deep into Russia’ where I stare at a cow’s backside.
A foam singer does hang on the following room wall
and a canvas shouts ‘looking forward’
I move forward and out.
But the last garden of post pop art does call
An odd smell – oil if I recall?
Richard Wilson’s installation 20:50 Boundary Road
Oil indeed, a reservoir of it
chills and thrills
And so the Saatchi gallery, I do depart.
I forgot – I’m just not mad about pop art.