This is one of those occasions when I think I’m looking at a giant vagina being poked at by bananas, but I’m a bit reluctant to say so in case I just seem like a horrible male Freudian cliché who should go and sit in the corner and read feminist literature until I’m cured. But, given the overall themes of artist and poet Heather Phillipson‘s exhibition, I think I’m on fairly safe ground. It’s a vagina. The bananas might be legs though. I’d give Ms Phillipson a ring and check, but how do you have that conversation? “Er, hi, are those bananas pointing at your giant vagina actually phallic penetrators or are they legs?” Maybe best you just go along and make your own minds up.
The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, is being completely taken over by Phillipson’s Yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama, and we’re told that visitors can expect meditations on hygiene, birth, modernist architecture, boredom, sightseeing, and French kissing. One of the artist’s unusual works involves watching a video called Ha!Ah! sitting in a speedboat surrounded by bottled water, while another about snogging (likened by one critic to a virtual reality drive-through car wash) has the audience seated inside a Peugeot 406 for the screening. The madness is up-and-running and continues until 6 September.