Richard Prince, the debunker of the American Dream, is still showing his teeth and his fondness for bad jokes.
Has the bad lad grown up? Has the 40-something Richard Prince, famed for his adolescent tendencies, gained a metaphorical middle-age spread? One reviewer even recently wondered if Prince had succumbed 'to the self-induced hypnosis of suburban bliss'.
Images of Prince flipping a couple of beef steaks on the barbecue, however, are hard to conjure up. The artist known for his venomous and sure-handed wit has long punctured the collective gloat of Middle America. A natural born plunderer, Prince subverts icons of American wholesomeness from the Marlboro man to Fifth Avenue execs. He vigorously scours the past for bad jokes. Jokes that are more intimate with the dodgy ideology of the 19505 than the politically correct 19905. Like archaeological remains of the once everyday, Prince excavates what is today discredited humour.
It's this 'appropriation’ that gives Prince's work a bite. Throwing together photography, drawings, images of over-nourished geeks, suburbia and blasts of bad humour, Prince‘s work nips you around the
ankles. Jokes dive in deep, like ’I
said to my mother, you ruined my
life you fuckin' bitch.‘ But as Prince has said: 'The jokes are about putting the ball in the hole . . .'
Prince came to prominence in the early 80s alongside artists Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine. Backlashing against the ’softer’ aspects of the Warhol generation, Prince and his contemporaries zoomed in on the less sweet aspects of American life. Prince did drugs but more importantly did life. Fed the American Dream, he
Bad lad gone good?: Richard Prince says no to suburban style
regurgitatecl a far less palatable vision.
A while back, when asked how far would he go with his bad lad aesthetic, Prince answered: ‘For me it's like the playground routine where you draw a line and say to someone, "if you want to fight, step over this line” . . . and someone does, so you step back and draw another line.’ Go see his lines. (Susanna Beaumont)
a For details, see Hit list, right.
Shock! Horrorl: Lyn Lowenstein's newspaper hoarding
Ever since the death throes of the family were witnessed back in the swinging 605, there have been c0pious attempts to resurrect and rebuild. In turn the 'family' has been assigned top priority by a barrowload of political agendas. Family Credit, however, which descends magpie-like on the Collective, is somewhat c05ier in intent. For the 29 artists taking part, the exploration of family foibles is done from a decidedly off-centre perspective. And what’s more, as well as some old-timers, some new kids on the block have been embraced into the Collective's family bosom.
’It's not trying to make any big statement on the family,’ says curator Sarah Munro, 'but a lot of the work seems to sit together well, and what we wanted to do was create a
different atmosphere in each room. So we've got everything from video work to photographs It was also important for the Collective to have the balance between national and internationally known arusts.‘
Appropriately, notorious brothers Dinos and Jake Chapman — known for the their mutant, genitalia-ridden pre- pubescent mannequins — are featuring along With a fresh crop of art school graduates, including Lyn Lowenstein. Her provocative newspaper-ster hoardings will be positioned outside the gallery. Sarah Jones' work is a more formal depiction of bourgeois archetypes — so cool,’ it‘s frigid. There’s also a hitherto unseen video collaboration between Chris Cunningham and techno whizz-kid The Aphex Twin, plus new work by collaborative duo Beagles and Ramsay. It all sounds like one big happy family. (Neil Cooper)
e For details, see Hit list, right.
Hooded. Bared See review. The 'not
wavmg but just breathing collaborative duo, Smith/Stewart, explore flesh and a host of oral activities in a show of video works. Fruitmarket Gallery, 225 2383, until 75 Sep, Mon—Sat 70am~6pm,' Sun noon—5pm.
Mona Hatoum She swallowed a camera to film her slimy, labyrinthine insides. She collects strands of her own hair to make necklaces. Hatoum's work entices and horrifies, reviles and intrigues and it is a must. Mona Hatoum, National Gallery Of Modern Art (Venue 66) 624 6200, until 25 Oct, Mon—Sat 70am—5pm,- Sun 2--5pm £2.50 ([750).
Family Credit See preview, left. Families and their everyday dysfunctions get coverage in a show of work by an extended family of artists including the subvertive siblings Dinos and Jake Chapman. Family Credit, Collective Gallery (Venue 80) 220 1260, until 72 Sep, Tue—Sat l lam—5.30pm
William Gillies See review. A good cut above the many early 20th century Scottish artist, Gillies sure knew how to handle his Mediterranean-inspired palette. William Gillies, Royal Scottish Academy, (Venue 64) 225 6671, until 17 Oct, Mon—Sat 10am—6pm; Sun 77am-6pm, £4 ([2).
Richard Prince See preview, left. Has the bad boy grown up? The US artist whose shock tactics more than tickle the American dream shows new work. Stills Gallery (Venue 94) 622 6200, until 26 Sep, Tue—Sat 10am-8pm; Sun—Mon noon-5pm. Miracles Seeing is believing as they say and in this show six artists exhibit small-scale pieces that set out to conjure up the incredible. Miracles, 5 St Stephen Street, 225 2294, until 6 Sep, Sat noon-6pm and by appointment. °
6-13Aug 1998 must as