Monday, 8 June 2009

Take a Look at Me Now

Take a Look at Me Now: Contemporary Art from Poland, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich, June 2-August 30


Nicolas Grospierre photographs colourful 60s slab blocks. In one, the exterior of each flat has been painted a different shade of the Dulux chart, so that lime-yellow fades to apricot through magenta to ultramarine. The normally coloured inhabitants get on with their lives: hanging out the washing or tending their collection of interesting tree roots. Other blocks were built with coloured panels – orange, jade or grey – revealing how the architectural optimism of one decade becomes the grubby, dated eyesore of the next. But blocks like this have their fans.

Katarzyna Korzyra’s Summertale is a video of little blonde ladies in folkloric costume picking fruit in a garden. They come out one morning to find their backyard full of giant toadstools, which explode to reveal a man in evening dress and a transvestite. All very Grimm.


Szymon Roginski’s Poland Synthesis is a collection of Hopper-like photos of Poland at night, featuring neon and tarmac.


While in Norwich you can see the medieval cathedral and castle...

...or you can wander round the university, with its wide lawns, lake, pyramidal halls of residence by Denis Lasdun, walkways, larch trees and concrete.

Stroll on the grass and look back at Norman Foster's hangar-like Sainsbury Centre. The chairs and tables in the school of art history have this year's retro look – they are the original ones from when the place went up in 1978.

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