The current exhibition is called Sequelism. This is what the site has to say about it:
Sequelism, Part 3: Possible, Probable or Preferable Futures is an ambitious, multi-faceted project that looks into the future and at that which is yet to happen. It will consider how the inexact arena of futurology is used as a means to better comprehend the present and the past.
Well, that's what it says, and I don't want to argue with people who have far more invested in all this than I do. But what I saw was a series of objects arranged in certain ways - venetian and other sorts of blind hanging in the centre of a gallery, a fox's stuffed head on a steel pole, a row of whirring painted discs, a sheet of what looked like rubber thrown diagonally onto the floor - and it struck me how incommensurate these two things were: the aim and the artifice. I don't want to sound snippy, but even the language of the blurb betrays a certain anxiety, or woolliness, of thought. The distinction between, for example, 'the future' and 'that which is yet to happen' may be too fine for my small brain; alternatively, it may not exist. But what really struck me was the effort expended, which seemed considerable, and the effect, or value of the reward, which seemed far smaller, banal and even irrelevant.
The array of hanging blinds of various kinds, for example, could be inviting us to think about the way space is defined, is closed, is opened, is made visible and then concealed; its variability, its arbitrariness, our imposition of order upon it, and so on. The fact that some of the blinds in the installation are western and mass-produced while others are, or appear to be, the work of Asian artisans might be important. It's important if I choose to notice it, I suppose, and that's my problem with this kind of fag-end avant-gardism. It lends itself to observation as pure subjectivity in a way, say, that the Duchamp urinal didn't. Duchamp's admonishing ghost walks dolefully behind all this work but the urinal, or the bottle rack, or the defaced Mona Lisa, didn't provide the audience with a chance to prove how clever they were at reading the new significance of the artefact. Duchamp's work, where the effort was minimal and the effect enormous, was too busy telling the audience something. The wonder of that work is just how no-nonsense and didactic its aims were. You couldn't not get it, unless you were wilfully obtuse. The stuff in the Arnolfini seemed vague and smug and, well, decorative in its effort to be cutting-edge and challenging and thought-provoking. The kind of attention it asked of me was worth less than the attention the medieval tramp had given us, because in his case it had a specific aim, or the attention we gave to the water beneath our feet. It was institutionalised and up its own arse. And this was exemplified by one of the exhibits: a portrait photograph of the artist, or a good-looking model, wearing not one but three or four padded masks over his eyes. It could say such a lot, but really says very little. Oh, it's about all kinds of things, but what isn't? Finally, it says whatever you want it to say.
But maybe it's just me.