Open/Closed, Big/Small, Full/Empty, On/Off

September 11 – December 18, 2010

In the fall of 2010, Western Bridge presented an exhibition of four works by artist Martin Creed, built around the oppositions contained in the title. The artist’s works are each titled with a number in a sequence, as his works have been since the start of his career. In Work No. 312, installed by itself in the black-walled gallery at the south end of the building, a lamp turns on and off each second. Work No. 360 filled a gallery to half its height with silver balloons, fulfilling the description appended to the title: half the air in a given space. The main galleries of Western Bridge were left empty except for a pair of dogs (a Chihuahua and an Irish Wolfhound), who inhabited the galleries during the hours the space is open to the public. And in a newer piece, installed on the large double-hung window at Western Bridge’s entrance, a set of curtains slid open and closed, throwing the entrance into darkness and light alternately, much like the lamp at the other end of the building does in its gallery.

In Creed’s works, the world is made strange through simple and straightforward interventions. His focus is always on the experience of the viewer, as he described in a recent interview in the Guardian. “I think that the best things get under people’s skin, make them remember them. People aren’t stupid. They know what’s fake and what’s not. They respond to things. Art is just things in the world, usually an arrangement of color and shapes. It’s people who have the feelings and the reactions.”

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