Paul Kneale is an artist and writer based in London. Kneale’s upcoming shows and projects include Art Gallery of Ontario, Galleries, Lafayette Paris, and/or London. He coruns Library+ project space and plays in the band TINA. Here are his selections for the best shows of last year.
1. Morag Keil, Potpourri at Cubitt Gallery, London
Consisting of a single video that was also available online, positioning a visit to the space as nearly redundant. snippets of dialog from a celeb sex tape rehearsed in mundane settings who’s filming seemed alternately meticulous and distracted. HD/SD. Choices. A strobe light held on a moving motorcycle. This video somehow unsettled me more than anything I’ve seen recently on /b/. The title ‘Potpourri’ recalling the proximity of media culture to scented toilets.
2. Raymond Pettibon, Human Wave at SPACE, London
In a year filled with vacuous formalism masquerading as network kitsch, this show of the artist’s lesser known videos was a breath of punk smog. The degraded quality of the VHS originals seemed to ridicule the current vogue for early digital crap as an aftereffect. Kim and Thurston rating and smashing records. Quasireligious ceremonies filled with howling. Perfectly installed with a collection of random office chairs as seating.
3. Georgie Nettell at Project Native Informant, London
A show that was aggressively indifferent to itself. Variations of serialised works, printed on canvass in colour schemes to match the galleries’ textures. Sections of the drywall theatrically removed as if to say, ‘work is here’. Everywhere a palpable urge to go on. Nowhere any horizon to meet.
4. Megan Rooney, Everything’s the same this is my dream at Baustelle Schaustelle, Essen
The weirdest show I saw this year achieved an uneasy levity. A bronze cheetah borrowed from Europe’s largest brothel was both present and depicted in scores of tender watercolors. A wall text rendered in faux teenage girl handwriting described a moment in said club suspended between enlightenment and existential crisis. Plato’s cave redecorated.
5. Bea Schlingellhof, Onaboat at AP News, Zurich
The glass exterior walls of this shopping mall-located gallery were covered by bluewashed posters emblazoned with ‘TOD’, German for death. Inside people smoked vigorously, pursued some racist books and watched a film on Jacques Cousteau. The artist produced a pointed discourse about gender and exploration that evaded localization in an object, or terra firma.