Eastside Projects, Birmingham, 15 July to 10 September 2011
Narrative is a tough beast to kill. Even the most staunchly non-narrative artist has to bend to the exigencies of a career, working in series or within a chronology and biography. Narrative is even implied in the audience’s encounter with a work – the journey into a gallery, their trail around the room and out the door again – which becomes an experienced story with a start and an end. A look around the contemporary art world would reveal no shortage of consciously constructed narratives. In addition to the traditional narrative forms of performance and sequential image (moving or not), there has been a glut of scripts, short stories and correspondence presented as artworks, many of which use a bland, listless terminology that suggest that today’s storyteller’s persona is that of the cultural theorist.