12 August 2004
Metro (p.19)

★ ★ ★ ★

With the Olympics looming; Q Arts has commissioned artists to respond to the idea of relay and the results are fascinating. Some are obviously sport-related, others present a more subtle take on the Olympic theme. Linda Young’s candid Sweat features unflattering photos. of her running team. Simon Green’s stunning film Aqua Gym shows synchronised swimmers at their most balletic.

There is eerie beauty, too, in Veronique Chance’s Qlympiad- a reworking of Leni Riefenstahl’s study of the 1936 Berlin Games. The effect is chilling, when we remember the historical context, but in it we see the aesthetic and the athletic merge, regardless of race.

In two less literal takes on the theme Jos Boys’ Domino Effects invites us to arrange photographic tiles and Faye Chamberlain’s photo series presents a day in the life of a public bench. Both pieces deal with moments of stillness but retain a refreshing sense of play.

Interactive installations by Adele Prince and Ellie Harrison also feature alongside amusing animations. Whatever happens in Athens, Q Arts seems guaranteed Olympic success this summer.

Michael Pinchbeck