“Whatever you think of the art, it has to be applauded for taking risks,” a friend told me recently. “The art in Chelsea is so safe.” He was talking about Freight + Volume’s The Double Dirty Dozen (& Friends) (through Sep 22), a show that explores the quest for freedom of expression by surveying the depiction of erect penises and juicy vaginas in art. More than 50 artists were invited to participate.
I have some reservations about my friend’s assessment of the show. A dick for dick’s sake isn’t ever going to be so risqué that it’s worth lauding. To be safe in contemporary art doesn’t mean keeping your clothes on—it means keeping your message vague.
Sadly, there’s a lot of this kind of confusion in the exhibition.