Going Public / Sheffield

Image above – Source – http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/whats-on/events/2015/12/going-public-saturday-walks5



Going Public is an Art event currently taking place in Sheffield. Art from around the globe has been selected and showcased in Sheffield’s most popular Art sites and also this year includes many works being displayed in the Sheffield Cathedral.

I went to visit some of the exhibitions at the Millenium Gallery, Graves Gallery and the Cathedral. There is a fantastic array of diverse works by some of contemporary arts most well know names. Not all of the works were to my taste, but below are 2 highlights from my visit.

Anthony McCall, Meeting you Halfway II, 2009, Millenium Gallery

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This piece is a projection installation. It was situated in a cornered off area, as it required complete darkness. The piece is very immersive and it’s quite mesmerizing, how it glows and holds stillness, yet the projection moves when the oval is rotating and changing. The way the dull light caught the haze was sublime, ethereal is the most fitting word to describe it. I really like how projections change when an object is in the way and a shadow is cast, but here this was heightened from the silence and the slightly fogged air and it became very transcendent.


Chapman Brothers, Cyber Iconic Man, 1996, Sheffield Cathedral

Chapman Brothers, Cyber Iconic Man, 1996. Image source – http://alphaomegaarts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/gory-sculpture-by-chapman-brothers.html

Jake and Dinos Chapman very much like to push the boundaries with art; materially, visually, socially, but foremost morally. They’ve caused a stir with their artworks and this piece is another to add to the list.   Cyber Iconic Man is a sculptural installation, where the viewer sees a man, resembling a shop dummy model, he is displayed upside down from the ceiling, and on the man’s skin are many lacerations and large wounds. From the wounds, what we believe to be is blood, drips slowly and constantly over the man’s body, into a bucket that lies beneath him. Not only does this already push the boundaries in terms of the grotesque, but for it then to be displayed in a cathedral; a house of god, is on another level. Furthermore, the man, has an uncanny resemblance to Jesus Christ.

The piece itself, I like, as I like weird and grotesque things, but it does feel a bit tacky and quite distasteful to me, which I suppose the Chapman’s are known for. But the aspect I loved about this artwork was how the cathedral allowed this to enter their house of worship. I suppose this can be seen as similar to depictions of the crucifixion, but obviously on a more gruesome level, but I think they have taken it completely out of context, so I personally don’t associate it with the crucifixion. Until this point, I believed that English cathedrals and churches were extremely strict, and kept to their traditional ways, but doing this completely changed my mind. I think English cathedrals are stereotyped to be stuck in the past, and rightfully so, but to allow this horrific artwork in, completely changes everything, it’s banished the stereotype instantly and it’s so amazing to witness this change.


Going Public is on now until 12th December 2015 – http://www.goingpublicsheffield.org/







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