Nothing Like Something Happens Somewhere at Cardiff's Chapter Gallery

By Ben Miller | 19 July 2012
A photo of a series of old television screens scattered across a gallery floor with wires
Stan Denniston Los Soñadores (detail)© Courtesy Olga Korper Gallery
Exhibition: Nothing Like Something Happens Somewhere, Chapter Gallery, Cardiff, until September 2 2012

The Embassy of Francis Alÿs’ home country, Belgium, has helped realise this show, named after a line from a Philip Larkin poem.

A photo of a length of knitted yellow and black cloth against a mountain backdrop
Andy Holden, The Cookham Erratics (installation view) (2012)© Jamie Woodleyc courtesy WORKS|PROJECTS
In return, Alÿs gets chilly for his art, pushing a large block of ice through the streets of Mexico City in a five minute film, Paradox of Praxis I (Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing). Initially he struggles with the bulk, until eventually the intense heat reduces it to little more than a tiny puddle on the pavement.

Canadian filmmaker Stan Denniston is also on the streets of South America for Los Soñadores (The Dreamers), a nine-channel video installation of dozing dogs in Havana.

At one point, at an unspecified cue, they all wake up and toddle off.

These sleeping dogs don’t lie, and their sudden displacement is positioned as a comment on domestic and social tensions in the country’s changing political landscape.

Ben Rivers is on typically scale-shifting form. The Coming Race, shot on a wind-up Bolex camera in 2006, has hundreds of people scrambling across a rocky mountain, shrouded in a murky haze which obscures our prospects of ever knowing whether mankind ever reached this particular summit.

Elsewhere, a sextet of sculptures, The Cookham Erratics, are Andy Holden’s “personal archaeology”, made from steel, foam and mixed knitted yarn, mimicking geology, art history, theology and metaphysical poetry.

And there are more of George Shaw’s gripping paintings, works in bronze cast cardboard by Ugo Rondinone (the sculpture Still Life (Cardboard Leaning on the Wall), and minimal portrait paintings by Maaike Schoorel, wearing away original photos to reveal something new beneath the surface.

  • Chapter Gallery, Market Road, Cardiff. Open 12pm-6pm (8pm Thursday-Saturday, closed Monday). Admission free.

More pictures:

A photo of a square of light brown cardboard standing upright inside a gallery space
Ugo Rondinone, still.life. (cardboard leaning on the wall) (2009). Bronze cast, lead, paint© Ugo Rondinone, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ
An image showing a still from a film in which a white dog is dozing on a city street
Stan Denniston, Los soñadores (film still) (2010. Nine-channel film installation© Courtesy Olga Korper Gallery
An image of a painting of a dilapidated white building with a metal fence in front of it
George Shaw, The Age of Bullshit (2010). Humbrol enamel on board© George Shaw, courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London
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