Sophie Dishman

Review: ‘Fawcett Street’ by Simon Senn

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In the wake of the Sunderland City of Culture bid, art has become a primary focus for the city. Many venues such as the National Gallery for Contemporary Art, based in the Sunderland City Library are holding exhibitions. 

Sophie Dishman spoke to Simon Senn at the NGCA at an exhibition opening night and reviewed his work.

‘Fawcett Street’ is the newest exhibition created by Simon Senn. Senn is an artist from Geneva in Switzerland.

His current work is a collection of photographs. Participants were asked to interpret the phrase “be sensational.” and were asked to take pictures. These images were sent to a psychologist who wrote a report on them based on the images produced.

The name of the exhibition comes from the street where the NGCA (National Gallery for Contemporary Art) is based.

Senn also walked around Fawcett Street with an assistant one day in May to ask people to participate in a performance for the NGCA for a small fee.

Simon said: “Like in all my work, I started by gathering people and then creating some rules and then finding a spot and a context and then something happens”.

Simon prefers not to be there when people are creating the exhibition.

“I left them alone for 10 minutes and they made many pictures – then I took all the pictures and I sent all of them to a psychologist and asked her to write a psychological report of the six people and so at the end I show all of the pictures and the report”.

Senn is known for his interest in behaviour patterns and more specifically in relation to technology.

” I think in general I’m inspired by observing how technology especially new technology is involved in making pictures and changes the way we behave”.

The exhibition really stands out as the framed pictures and reports are placed in the exhibition space where the participants took the pictures. When you visit the exhibition you are in the space yourself which makes you think about your own identity and how your photographs fit into the spaces that you are in.

The six exhibition pieces are set against a white wall which is an interesting concept as it draws you in. I found that I wanted to step into the space straight away and look at the pictures.

Senn’s current exhibition is at the NGCA gallery, on the third floor of the City Library on Fawcett Street until November 14.

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