Art Now: Mindless, Mindless
Jess Flood-Paddock’s work explores the exchange value of objects and, more specifically, their emotional value. Working across a great variety of subjects – from Aztec fertility statues to wasabi peanut snacks – Flood-Paddock creates interwoven narratives that could be described as the ‘biographical life of things’.
Concerned with the rhetoric of over simplification and misrepresentation, this installation takes its title from Tottenham’s Labour MP David Lammy who described the 2011 London rioters as ‘mindless, mindless people’. A series of sculptures of scaled-up leather bicycle saddles are displayed on the floor; further leather saddles hang from a wire strung across the gallery, echoing the mysterious practice of ‘shoe flinging’ which allegedly originated in gang culture as a way of marking territory. Through these objects, the artist draws attention to the commonplace theft of bicycle seats. Leather saddles are highly sought after by cyclists. Easy to steal, they can be resold quickly, stolen and resold again, and have become an alternative currency of exchange. Flood-Paddock has framed these works with a series of photographs taken in London’s Broadway Market, an area in the grip of rapid gentrification and marked by the proliferation of chained-up saddle-less bicycles.