Artvehicle 16/Review

5th May 2007 — 10th June 2007

More and more artists are prepared to put their work up on YouTube and subject themselves to the world's biggest art crit, receiving comments from all (anyone with access to the internet and hours to waste) and sundry (could they get any sundrier?). What a good idea. It's time to balance things out a bit. Now that the attention span of the average viewer is less than eight seconds - and then only if it shows a snake eating a hippo - what is needed are some full length Warhol films and 24-hour Psycho for the populace to completely ignore. Quite right too, that's what the Internet is all about.

On the 5th floor of Regents Studios MOT is showing YouTubism, three mini-exhibitions in the one space. Mark Bijl is showing three looped films on separate monitors. In the first he subverts an Adidas advert in a bus stop by riddling an ecstatic Beckham with stencilled bullet-holes. He also makes a video for an obscure Sisters of Mercy track by filming the lyrics he'd spray-painted in urban spaces and cutting them in time to the music - Dylan updated. It is Bijl who wanted to call his section YouTubism and it is for him the most apt. A very short film, hijacked soundtrack, with a dash of naughty graffiti - ideal. Out on YouTube the MOT film has been only been watched 155 times but he does have the full five stars and some useful feedback. 'A great cover and a good idea for the video, keep up the good work.' Thank you Cunnyfunt30 but do you think it is art?

In the back of the space are large photos of Beagles and Ramsay. Regularly the subject of their own work, here they appear as bodiless heads. Buried to their necks in gold glitter, part Blackpool beach, part Caligula, part standard desert torture. The absurd theatrical elements are heightened with the addition of wigs, pancake makeup and beauty spots. Put Beagles and Ramsey into YouTube and 'Geezer Gotta Flamethrower' pops up, a first single complete with low-end animation.

So that Joe Walsh didn't feel a little let down getting the janitor's office he gets a video projector for his film, nice. 'The Work Ahead of Us' re-appropriates a scene from The Shining with a dash of Kill Bill etc. for flavour. A dismal and melodramatic Chinese man with a lip-sync problem struggles to cut his vegetables while a ninja attempts to distract him by eating his prawn crackers. Although it's about 20 times too long for YouTube it wouldn't be out of place. It's got the right kind of aesthetic and it's fun. Walsh also gets great reviews for his country and western singing.


Unit 54
Regents Studios
London E8 4QN

Thursday-Sunday, 12pm-6pm

YouTubism —  Joe Walsh The Work Ahead of Us 2006 Film still Image courtesy MOT

Joe Walsh
The Work Ahead of Us
Film still
Image courtesy MOT