Metro Life Art Review London

Don't Go To Work

by Fisun Guner

Art Review:***

After hours: Maria Coletsis snaps showgirls before a performance
Don't Go To Work
Rhodes + Mann

"We all need something to help us through the day," reads the publicity for this show - which makes it sound like a recommendation for Valium.

Set around the theme of weekend hedonism, however, for the 14 artists here, it suggests an after working hours culture of raves and chemically enhanced hangovers; you'd feel out of place if you're over 35 - or if you'd decided your extended adolescence had already been stretched to breaking point.

Jason Coburn has contributed a witty installation - a small glass shelf in the downstairs toilet, which, when you get close - snout level in fact - you notice has been etched with the telephone helpline for cocaine abusers; Maria Coletsis has taken two glossy photographs of what at first appear to be showroom mannequins but are actually live showgirls (see picture); while Louis Nixon has installed a metal oil drum that has been mechanised to roll around the gallery floor like an old drunk.

Stephen Hughes has, ostensibly, provided something altogether more useful: a wall of optics bottles containing real spirits (though I doubt whether the gallery has got a licence for punters to just help themselves).

This is more degree show high jinks than a serious examination of 'issues', but like Saturday Night And Sunday Morning, a sad whiff of desperation clings to this show like the sweet odour of soiled bed sheets and fag butts. As Arthur Seaton, that quintessentially 1960s anti-hero, would say: "All I want is a good time. The rest is propaganda."

Until Sept 16, Rhodes + Mann, 37 Hackney Road E2, Wed to Sat 11am to 6pm, Sun noon to 6pm, free.
Tel: 020 7729 4372.  Tube: Old Street


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