October 2018: Well a lot of folk have been waiting for this. ‘Visitor’s book – Rashid Al Khalifa – The Artist Penumbra Exhibition Saatchi Gallery London’. This video features genuine comments and unsolicited remarks about the Penumbra art on show. Furthermore, some of the reviews are made by famous experts and individuals associated with the art world, from automobile design to BVGARI watches. We also have royalty happily expressing their joy at the content.
So why has there been anxious months awaiting these little snips? Surely the artists wants to know what visitors thought of their work, so they read reviews. In this case it is a video of those reviews spoken first hand. That must be something to treasure especially if it transpires in the positive. Then there is the amount of time it takes to compile something like this (4 months), when your source of material is so absolutely random. It has to be found and selected among hours of footage for a start, then to edit every single one in order to present something a little more succinct rather than just rambles. To include all comments taken would mean a video about 5 hours long, so what is presented here is merely a cross section of visitors.
Of course, in this report the comments have been edited, which is a nice way of saying that some of the lyrical waxing has been shortened. Yes, those that made them were more than happy to blurt out their opinions without any prompting. Ah ha! But that is nothing unusual for the art world, which brings us to another reason that so many have wondered if a ‘Visitor’s Book’ would indeed be produced. Ego! It is a lovely ego though, rarely imposing unlike television and movies stars who will create their own publicity any how to the Nth degree. Genuine contributors to physical art like reviews too and like their own reviews at that. Sure, this art world is often outlandish to an extent as well and even slightly loud at times, but there is a politeness and more often than not, an honesty about their feelings for the art of others, whereas every movie start will pontificate that ‘The Director is simply marvelous, the other actors are sublimely brilliant’ and so on, but don’t mean a word of it.
At the time of writing, the next exhibition will be in Oman during March 2019, but will not feature the same works. The Oman expo is titled; ‘In Parallel’. Will it generate the same huge response that Penumbra did at Saatchi Gallery….. watch this space.