North London's Cultural Guide

Free Weekend? Explore Weighted Words at Zabludowicz

Here at Kentishtowner HQ we are more than partial – as you should by now have realized – to a bon mot or two. In fact, one of Mrs Kentishtowner’s favourite words is ‘boondoggle’ (a term she has been known to hurl, on particularly bleak days, at this very project – how very dare her!)

But enough about our domestics. Instead we urge you to visit your favourite gallery’s new exhibition, Weighted Words, which asks this simple, but rather lovely question: ‘How can words produce feelings, emotions and reactions? Why do some words leave us breathless? Why do others make us laugh, or cry?’ (And by the way, if you still haven’t visited and live in NW5 – shame on you!)

Through a sea of Camden Town Hells lager, and a mountain of tasty middle eastern snacks, we’re happy to report we still managed to absorb a bit of art at the launch last night. Above is Glenn Ligon’s vast neon which quotes a line from Gertrude Stein. And left is Ed Atkins’ ‘Death Mask 2’ (left), a projection which uses subtitles against the grain of the images (clever, actually).


Ruth Ewan’s jukebox (left) exemplified the simple effectiveness of many of the works: it consisted of 2500 songs from ‘People Trying To Change The World.’ And in the adjoining room Mary Reid Kelly made half the people walk out – and Mrs Kentishtowner howl – with a poetry-based work cajoling viewers to ‘roll back your foreskin.’ Ouch.

And finally we spent some time perusing Dani Gal’s vast vinyl collection which displayed 250 recordings of ‘historical significance,’ from resignations to royal weddings. But don’t pull out any of the sleeves for closer inspection – they’ll be on you like a ton of bricks.

Weighted Words runs till June 10, with a full live programme ranging from poetry to storytelling and stand-up.

Words & Pictures: Stephen Emms

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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.