Workplace Review
Mead Gallery Stewards

Workplace - A Review by Ellen Zabulis

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Workplace:

The Mead Gallery at the Warwick Arts Centre recently hosted an exhibition organised around a topic that we’re all familiar with in one way or another: ‘The Workplace’. I went along to see what it was all about, and it soon became clear that the purpose of the exhibition is to examine the vast amount of time that we spend in our workplaces (offices, in this case) from original and unusual viewpoints. This contemporary exhibition proved different from others that I’d seen, as I had never before witnessed an exhibition that consisted solely of moving images. These images provide a unique experience for myself, and no doubt many others. The technical masterpieces are the creations of artists that include Adel Abidin, Emily Jacir, João Onofre, Superflex, Pilvi Takala, John Wood and Paul Harrison, all of whom present impressive and complex interpretations of office life shot through with layers of meaning that anyone who has worked in an office environment will relate to. The pieces, humorous and sincere alike, invite us to view the workforce when it thinks it isn’t being watched. I was particularly intrigued by ‘Vulture in the Studio’ (Onofre) in which we see a large bird coming to terms with a confining office environment. This exhibit stands out because of its unusual subject matter, which can’t help but capture the viewer’s attention. The bird is, I feel, a representation of a mundane daily struggle that many people will recognise, and a cleverly portrayed interpretation of life in the workplace. All of the artists succeed in achieving their goal of displaying workplace life from an unusual but recognisable standpoint, in exhibits that range from two grown men battling with makeshift lightsabers to the laziness of a marketing trainee. Creative minds have turned something ordinary into a piece of art that can be admired for its realism and engages with viewers at a level that is ordinary and easy to understand, with the result that it works effortlessly.

Ellen Zabulis

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