Nottingham Trent University
East Midlands

Porno, Poop and Purpose?

“It’s not you, it’s me.. That’s a bit of a cliché” 1.

Deciphering Thomas Darby’s individual narratives is difficult, but allow yourself to view the narratives as a collective and you find yourself immersed in an entrapment of sexual and social conundrums. Sitting on the green sticky couch you begin to take the role of a relationship counsellor. This however is very different when attending the live performances that take place throughout the Degree Show. If you are brave enough you can wander into the space, sit across from the interviewee and witness the strip show unfold.

The overwhelming amount of equipment produces heat. The carpet thrown on the wall and the low lit lamp adds to the atmosphere of a make shift porn set.

“I’ll provide the woman.” 2.The woman walks in and strips. Bare. With or without the audience sitting at her feet.

The distant banging of toilet seats jolts you out of immersion. This constant repetition leads you into the next room. Kate Allen’s multiple shots of toilet seats begin to merge into a colourful abstract blur; the banging repeating. It almost becomes musical. Three minutes of this and I found myself wholly un-engaged. The further seven minutes after that were even less beneficial to the work, and the Latin title seemed to overcompensate for the simplicity of its English translation.

Carl Cutting’s video presented four seemingly unprepared performers dancing loosely in Market Square; sporting matching yellow t-shirts. I struggled to find the videos purpose and anything note-worthy. I convinced myself to commit to the full five minutes; hoping to be rewarded by a concluded narrative or perhaps a pinnacle moment? Unfortunately I was somewhat disappointed.

“Too big? Too long? Too much?” 3. Repeatedly entered my thoughts when weaving throughout the exhibition. I sensed an overwhelming need to impress, as a result artists imposed on each other’s work. The strongest are those not demanding attention by over-compensating, but focusing on the intention of the work with a level of confidence. These few will outshine the rest.

Rebecca Ounstead

Nottingham Trent University

Ba Fine Art

1.Thomas Darby, 4th June 7.15pm

2. Thomas Darby, 4th June – 10th June

3. Rebecca Ounstead, 8th June 11am-3pm