Many people will not be familiar with the name Marvin Gaye Chetwynd — until six months ago, the artist was called Spartacus Chetwynd. She was nominated for the 2012 Turner Prize and her entry was an amateurish piece of performance art that was both confounding and amusing.
Her latest exhibition consists of two similar installations that take bats, and the Canterbury Tales and play with their respective themes. Chetwynd uses images to re-tell the narratives of Geoffrey Chaucer’s classic but rather than stick to simply placing these photographs on the walls, they have been printed out and now cover every surface of the gallery.
Visitors can’t venture into the gallery without stepping on the prints and tearing, or at the very least shifting, the works. Each individual visit therefore reshapes the exhibition. Even the table with the exhibition catalogue is not spared as this installation takes over the entire space.
Downstairs the walls are replete with images of bats, while a giant dragonfly is imprinted on the floor. Just as with the floor above, a search for any coherence within this exhibition is futile and it’s best to simply let the encompassing nature of both installations draw you in.
Is there anything deeper to this exhibition? Is Chetwynd making fun of the audience, the art world or all of the above? Who knows. Yet if these thoughts are cast aside, it’s easy to enjoy this exhibition for the bizarre and incomprehensible experience it is.
This exhibition by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd is on at Sadie Coles, 69 South Audley Street, W1K 2QZ until 26 April. Entrance is free.