Magazine article Art Monthly

Terry Bond: Neighbourhood Watch

Magazine article Art Monthly

Terry Bond: Neighbourhood Watch

Article excerpt

Terry Bond: Neighbourhood Watch

The Minories Galleries Colchester 17 May to 16 July

On the wall in the first room of 'Neighbourhood Watch', a retrospective exhibition of Terry Bond's works made over 33 years, there is an artist's statement written in 2006. Rather than a declaration of intent or exposition of themes, the statement consists of an anecdote: once, while running through a park to catch a train, a dog on a lead bit Bond. Cutting a brief story short, Bond found that the bite was worse than it first appeared and resolved to have it checked. But before doing so he remonstrated with the dog's owner, hoping to learn her address so that the incident could be reported--he received a street name but the incorrect house number, thereby bringing an unsatisfying non-conclusion to the event. Quite evidently, then, this is no conventional artist's statement. Yet while nothing is said of Bond's practice, the statement amply serves as a demonstration of that practice.

Despite its billing as a retrospective, the exhibition is better construed as a compilation--a greatest hits, if you will. It refuses a chronological overview and it skips easily between media. Most of the works are photographs, but there are also films, readymades and sculptures, as well as the artist's statement and biography. Bond's practice aligns with Conceptual Art or, more precisely, that vein of often-deadpan comedy that characterised much work of that movement in the UK. And, indeed, this exhibition is very funny. Yet while much conceptual work wittily aped the austerity of analytic philosophy, Bond's attention is upon the quotidian. In effect, Bond uses Conceptual Art tropes to discombobulate momentarily the banality of everyday routines. For instance, a 23-minute video records him waiting at a temporary bus stop; when a bus finally arrives he steps onto it, unexpectedly carrying the temporary bus stop aboard with him. In another work, a taxidermied cat sits--as if sleeping--upon a MacBook, itself in sleep mode. The laptop-fascinated cat and the boredom of bus stops are prosaically commonplace scenes of contemporary life, but are here given an amusing, refreshing spin that reinvigorates the ordinary.

However, subtle disruptions in and of the quotidian are just one side of Bond's practice. The other is a humorous appropriation of the art world and its histories. This is a recurring theme throughout the exhibition and there is perhaps an issue of how 'getting the joke' becomes important for appreciating the artworks. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.