have been stacked on top of each other by a collaborative duo going by the name of French Riviera. Now, this is brand new to Bethnal Green high street. It must be. I haven't noticed it before...
I arrived home from work to see a strange sight. I saw what 'an opening' or 'private view' of an exhibition in East London must look like to the average punter for the first time. My neighbour Margaret and I stood together on the balcony on the 6th/11th floor of our council block watching a huddled crowd on the high street. They looked a little chilly and a little confused. In fact Margaret was convinced it was a party but I thought it was an accident because I could see that the crowd were all looking at the same thing and not at each other. But what they were looking at was obscured. I could just see something flashing. I imagined for a moment it was a magic cash machine - malfunctioning and thereby coughing out money to an orderly crowd of youngish people.
Alas no. It was, as I said, a stack of tvs showing video pieces; short, interspersed, by 16 artists, playing intermittently on 20 or so little 12ish inch black box tvs. After a visit to a friend later this evening, I saw another strange sight, lots of young non east London natives (blow ins like myself) in the local, overly lit Marquis de Cornwall. You'd never normally catch a crowd like that drinking there. This was when I realised that the flashing must be an exhibition. Sorry for the long winded explanation. It's just that it's the first time I felt what it was like to be on the other side of the fence. I really enjoyed it. So I stopped outside 309 Bethnal Green Road. The strobes and general flashing coming from the little screens are serious eye-catchers.
The effect was a bit like the living in London, from my perspective at least. At first I was extremely distracted and couldn't keep my eyes on one screen for longer than a few seconds. Then my eyes calmed down, my concentration adjusted to the distractions and after a little while I was able to watch one at a time. Within five minutes I realised that each video was somewhat interesting in itself but nothing spectacular, yet combined they did become far more interesting. Each screen and video, made separately by different artists, have been brought together in this humble window display to become one body. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole you could say and worth a look if you are kicking about Bethnal Green before 21 December when it finishes. It's also very close to Gourmet San - the best chinese I've ever been to (chilli green beans).