Sunday, 28 February 2010
The Generator’s show Dromos takes as its lofty aim the creation of “a New Babylon of discovery” unconstrained by the rigid white cube. Incorporating performance, sculpture and graphic design, pleasingly the work here is visceral, funny and compelling enough to make good on its ambitious promises. The first gallery is reborn as the scene of a terrible accident outside Dundee train station, an abandoned taxi intersecting the space and facing a floor scattered with broken boxes and littered with tattered clothes. On a screen we can see a messianic performance by Bedwyr Williams whose bloodied features are haunted by the trauma of his art-world misadventures. Leaning over the taxi’s bonnet he ponders why “Scottish and Irish artists are always bullying Welsh artists” and other imagined slights. The opening-night audience chuckle away in sympathy with his thwarted ideals. Next door the work of Derek Sutherland, Never Been In a Riot, carries on the theme of urban ennui. Three wheelie bins stand shrouded in dry ice before a slide show that sees shots of fashion models and scenes of wasteland illuminate the wall. Nearby two LCD displays scroll fragments of text by William Burroughs, as the sainted junkie evolves his thinking about systems of control. Guiding us through this dense, exhilarating exhibition, the Dromos gallery handout is designed by the London-based architect James Alexander Craig and sees image, text and typography collide and bleed into one other across the page. You’re left dizzy and thrilled, immersed in the Dromos experience.