Aleksandra Mir

Pyramids of Mars

Time Out, London, March 2000
By David Gleeson

Pyramids of Mars
10 May - 5 Aug 2000
Trapholt Art Museum, Æblehaven 23, Kolding - Denmark

8 April - 22 July 2000
Fruitmarket gallery, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland - UK

8 Feb - 25 March 2000
Barbican Art Centre (Curve Gallery), Silk Street, London - UK

A press release claiming that the works in this show "challenge out idea about how society should be run" led me to expect and irritating assortment either of earnest-but-naive efforts or powerful critiques neutered by curators in search of a theme. Stretching the entire length of one wall is Aleksandra Mir's Hello. It consists of a connection chain of images scanned from photographs, newspapers and magazines in which degrees of separation are literally spelt out. Marie Helvin is closer to Jimi Hendrix, for example, than you may (care) to think. A 60's snap of Hendrix and Mick Jagger is followed by Mick and Jerry Hall in the '80s. A photo of smiling chums Jerry and a Marie complete the Hendrix-Helvin social matrix. Hundreds of other startlingly trivial social links are scattered throughout a world whose absurdity conceals its brilliance. Rather than merely reflecting our obsession with media fame, it draws you into a grand calvacade of vapid celebrity mediocrity that is utterly compelling.

Jeremy Dellar shows more of his engagingly simply texts posters in which the great, the good and the greedy unwittingly reveal their scary inner selves and a short video of riots outside McDonalds aptly set to a soundtrack of 'Panic' by The Smiths. A few things come across as naively earnest. Palle Nielsen's transformation of a Stockholm gallery into a children's playground ups the dullness factor. SO does Andrea Zittel's video documenting her small floating island, but Sture and Charlotte Johannesson's psychedelic posters and tapestries make up for these. Nothing really matches the thrill, though, of mapping out the links between Harry Belafonte and the Dalai Lama.