Art Before the Biennial, I wonder how many of us knew there were two gastropubs in town called Monro. Certainly during the Biennial, when I’ve mentioned The James Monro on Tithebarne Street, some people have assumed I’ve meant the The Monro on Duke Street and described their love of the Markus Kahre piece. But no, there are two and if you show the Biennial booklet at either for the duration of the festival you can save a £5 when you spend £25 or more (T&C’s apply). What is a surprise is that The James Monro is also hosting a Biennial artwork, something that goes unmentioned in the booklet even on The Monro Group’s own advertising.
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The above establishing photo inadvertently contravenes one of this project’s rules of not including any artwork, because it’s attached to the windows. Jacob Kolding's Perspectives is a set of fifteen window vinyls, each 45x126 cm as indicated by separate informational window vinyl. They’re spread across all of the windows of The James Monro, attached to the outside across the existing glass engravings. In collage they depict elements of what looks like governmental literature, cut along various edges and mixed and matched so that none of it is entirely readable from either inside or outside the building.
Kolding is interested in the distribution of culture and as the Biennial’s website says: "is also influenced by city life and pop-cultural sources such as music, football and underground cultural movements. The resulting mix of images is collaged and reconfigured by the artist into posters, maquettes or large billboards. His references are re-worked to cause a shift in meaning and a challenge to how the history of each may be understood in relation to the other."
This is artwork mimicking the elements of advertising, spreading the artist’s ideas and techniques into various spaces, reflecting marketing and cultural imagery back on itself. These vinyls are a version of a piece that stretches from floor to ceiling at The Bluecoat and available as a poster to take away. Does our attitude to art change depending upon the setting. Do we treat it as less ephemeral if it's in a gallery setting than adhered to the windows of a restaurant? Is it about expectation?