Don’t believe everything Yves Leather tells you!
Don’t Believe Everything Yves Leather Tells You was a Solo exhibition of Yves Leather’s Work in collaboration with Photographer Jack Thomson & Curation by Ciaran MacDomhnaill. The Exhibition ran from the 13th to 18th of July at the Pipe Factory Space in Glasgow’s East End.
This exhibition centres on gossip within a queer context. Gossip and discussions of sexuality, especially homosexuality, have been habitually bracketed off into lesser quotidian modes of communication, positioned outside the circuits of art critical meaning and exchange. We argue that a ‘serious’ contribution of gossip to this historiographical debate can be achieved through an ostentatious and unapologetic use of gossip before, during and after the exhibition. This gossip touches upon subjects of relationship, friendship, sex, sexuality, neurodiversity and the sale of art.
Primary artwork by Yves Leather (they/them) written By Ciaran MacDomhnaill
Many of the artwork in the exhibition are inflated, tying into the idea of ‘inflated gossip’ and the use of inflatables in mattresses, sex toys and representations of naïvety. For example, Yves inflated their interpretation of a recent relationship with an American lover, a relationship that was fragile, easily punctured and is now standing at a point in which it needs to be ‘put to bed’. The art piece Spider Rock in Arizona (2022) is a romantic homage to this lover: An American rock, an American cock. Gossip surrounding this monolithic-style art piece has created many grey areas, truthfully Yves’s perception of the relationship might be unilateral and rather abstract. Hence, the reality of this unreality can be seen as a type of abstract romanticism that is translated visually into works that touch upon outsider art, graffiti, found art and abstract expressionism. The use of inflated toys and the installation of “literal objects” such as airplanes and dinosaurs represents the gullibility of those who encounter Yves and wholeheartedly believe their anecdotes. Do you believe the love story? The artwork’s solicitation of its audience challenges the myth surrounding the autonomy of art. The artwork unmasks our group participation in this social phenomenon and the spectator’s lust for the spectacle. In their artistic practice, Yves has lived quite an individual subjective existence because they often turn to anti-formalism and spontaneity. The gossip and untruths change by the hour and get embedded into the very fabric of their artwork. The title of the exhibition can be seen as a form of self-abasement or as a more honest and hopeful adventure into critical culture. One that is full of lies.
A sponsored exhibition can fall prey to the ‘economies of interest’. As a result, this exhibition is sponsored by no one important.