Matthew Stone, Propaganda (2012)

This piece floats on a perilous sea of style mags; they buoy up a marble-effect plinth. Matthew Stone is not cool, he is stone cold.

But these publications have more gravity than usual. Their covers are stuck to blocks of wood, giving each more permanence than a sheaf of glossy pages.

A muted printing technique fades and dates the titles (i-D and Dazed), so what they gain in cultural validation they lose in terms of timeliness.

This is always a trade off. One surely cannot be both hip and profound. The typography and styling which threaten to swallow this plinth have been frozen mid trend.

And yet those headlines  (“Love changes everything” and “Everything is possible”) may be deep. But they mean next to nothing when packaged up as content.

Fashion magazines are detached affairs, the last place to go in search of wisdom. But new trainers change everything; everything is possible to those with cash. Too true.

Stone is said to be a favourite of the titles presented here. So his reification of the hands that feed is brave and yet, oblique; it is hard to say where he stands.

Some of the magazines are sawn in two up and fixed with hinges. This is surely an act of love as much as destruction. It is as if everything hinges on fashion here, it seems, even art.

Matthew Stone: Everything is Possible can be seen at La Scatola until October 5 2012. See gallery website for more details.

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