Location UK, Gimpel Fils
Summer is the silly season for London’s commercial galleries, which generally resort to giving their unsold stock an airing in shows of lower-priced work. Location UK falls into that category but is one of the stronger group shows, bringing together some of Britain’s best-known artists working with photography.
The title picks up on a favourite subject of contemporary-art practice and critical discourse: the idea that humans are malleable, formed by their environment. Hence the endless fine-art images that refer to gritty urban squalor. To be honest, the collection does not amount to a coherent visual justification of the point, but individual pieces stand out.
Bank, the guerrilla-art collective that has recently become a little more commercial-gallery friendly, presents an amusing tourist ad. The legend “Come to London”, resplendent in naff Sixties-style typography, is emblazoned on to a shot of an anonymous Middle-Eastern city, which is funnier than it sounds.
One of the most arresting images is provided by one of the younger artists, Shez Dawood, whose work focuses, sometimes light-heartedly, on the assumptions that accompany ethnicity.
Dawood presents an image of the huge billboard that sits beside the mosque in Whitechapel Road. On it he has digitally inserted a number of “Asian Hamlets” — young men of Bangladeshi origin who stand in Shakespearean costume, skull in hand. Happily, as well as addressing the issues of how minority groups assume the culture of the majority, it is also an attractive picture.
Until 7 September. Information: 020 7493 2488.