The Shock of the Now Issue 18
Featured Exhibition Text

Niccolo Binda
'Platitudes' Solo Exhibition
Camberwell College of Arts
17th November 2021

‘Again & Again’ and ‘Same Old’ scream the satirical slogans that reappear throughout Niccola Binda‘s sculptural reliefs, expressing a witty world-weariness towards stale advertising adages and echoing the oppressive omnipresence of clichéd catchphrases, tired tag-lines and mundane mottos that adorn London’s billboards and buses. Dulled, dampened Rainbows recur too, alongside caricatured clouds and oversized keys, recalling the ease and frequency in which contemporary consumer culture and capitalist corporate interests seek to monetise common motifs and everyday moments.

Binda’s smooth, glossy sculptures engage with a nostalgic, childlike appeal, their polished factory finish instantly aesthetically enticing and reminiscent of Fisher-Price playsets or simplified, stylised jigsaw puzzles. Many of their shapes and structures, however, are commonly found underfoot, making up the often-overlooked patterns, designs and decorations that punctuated the pounded pavements of our city streets. Manhole cover tondos and textured, footpath tiling are elevated, exposed as emblems of a wider disregard for the efforts and endeavours of anonymised, unsung surveyors, urban planners, designers, architects, engineers and fabricators. Their ultimate achievement and sign of success perhaps being their works’ ability to go unnoticed.