David Shrigley is that voice in the back of your mind. He is an artist with the ability to tap into those random thoughts that we all have and mine them for uncanny truths. The inky black illustrations, t-shirts, photo series, sculpture and videos that currently fill 27 rooms at the Malmö Konstall are a culmination of 15 years of his quirky logic.
Shrigley's distinctive black and white drawings line walls in several rooms. Most have handwritten statements along with the image. Others are all text. One poster depicts two people with the caption; "I have a strange feeling but I'm not going to let it spoil the short time we have together." On a t-shirt two characters size each other up with the words; "Put on your plimsoles and we will wrestle."
In the belly of the gallery is a stunning stretch of sky-lit spaces with hanging metre-tall faceless heads, metal copulating spiders and a wall with giant words reading; God is Idle. Another room holds photographs of street scenes such as a freeway entry sign with four simple letters; hell. Yet another room displays tents that ooze with hardened foam next to a taxidermied squirrel holding its own head.
How does this relate to design for the greater good? Well, Shrigley was a graphic designer and his work makes me feel human. I think that's enough. Sometimes when I spend a solid eight hours at my Mac it's hard to feel that way. Good design has humanity at its core.
The whole exhibit culminates in the highlight of the show - a series of animations with darkly humorous stories. One short is about a man that goes to the laundrymat to wash and dry his horse. A cartoon collaboration with Chris Shepherd Who I am and What I Want, is narrated based on a Shrigley book about a curious guy named Pete. Pete lives in the woods and reminisces fondly about his mental illness, awkward jobs and musings on life. At one point he cries, "I want to feel you breathing upon me, and I want to be water-soluble so that when I go water skiing and fall off I will dissolve before the sharks can eat me".
I don't want to give much more away, this show is a too good to miss, and it's been extended until January 2008.