Mark Wallinger's show ID at Hauser & Wirth provides an inviting art jaunt. A hospitable rundown of ego, id and superego included on the information sheet paves the route for witnessing Wallinger's references of these Freudian theories in his artworks.
This show came across as more slick than previous socialist leaning works I’ve experienced of his, though there are political tones woven throughout the sculptural and digital works.
The first piece you encounter on entering the South gallery, is a mirror way above head height, which relates Scotland Yard to the superego - a controlling, punitive voice repressesing desire and action.
In the North gallery large scale paintings related to the id employ black acrylic paint on a pristine white canvas, which doesn’t quite fit the Freudian pleasure principle theory as I would translate it. In referencing this classic relationship of id to life force and sex drive, you might expect more colour and mess, but these large scale paintings can act as polished references to action painting (eg. Pollock), the work representing physical movements and reach of the artist. Yves Klein’s body prints also came to mind, though I think his dragging naked paint splattered models across the canvas might be more directly id. Some examples of this work of Klein’s is currently included in Tate Moderns ‘Performing for the Camera’ exhibition, open until 12 June - worth a visit.
Apparently Wallinger got quite addicted to making the paintings whilst in analysis himself, not sure where I got that from, think I read it somewhere.
An emerging Devonshire artist now based in New York also came to mind when looking at this, Rachel Garrard. She makes works affected by her movements across canvases and symmetry.
ID is open until 7th May 2016 at Hauser & Wirth, Saville Row, London