David Shrigley, Those who get it
Mentioning venn diagrams in passing brought David Shrigley back to mind. I’ve posted about Shrigley before at the time of his Hayward Gallery in 2012. I really like Shrigley’s work but there was a lot I didn’t like about that exhibition so coming back to it now gives me the chance to simply enjoy the preposterousness of a couple of works. I think for me the ideal way to look at Shrigley’s drawings is to idly browse his books and pick out a few pictures to enjoy in small doses; Shrigley en masse and in the more public sphere of a busy museum scale space just doesn’t do it for me.
What I like about Shrigley’s use of the venn diagram in Those who get it is the brilliant pointlessness of the whole thing. Ultimately with no explanation of what ‘it’ might be, are we all in the ‘those who don’t get it’ circle? Or maybe getting the joke is enough to put us in the ‘those who get it circle’? Before we know it, realising there is nothing to get, we find ourselves firmly at the centre of the diagram in the ‘those who are very confused’ area. Sometimes perhaps that’s exactly the right place to be.
Venn Diagram misses the point of venn diagrams in a wonderfully nonsensical way. I like the (mis)use of a mathematical structure and the pointlessness of the result. As ever with Shrigley’s drawings, the joke is close to the surface; this is work that it’s easy to enjoy. But there’s something charming about the simplicity and you don’t have to look at very much of Shrigley’s work to be intrigued by his way of talking about the world.