edinburgh

Richard Hamilton

The Fruitmarket Gallery

This exhibition was divided into two sections: “Installations,” a series of works designed as rooms, and “Ulysses,” a group of drawings and prints inspired by James Joyce’s novel. Throughout “Installations,” curated by Mark Francis, Hamilton consistently draws attention to the notion of surveillance and the ways in which rooms can imply, or be a function of, relationships based on power and control. Treatment Room, 1984, for instance, recreates the space of a hospital emergency room, complete with antiseptic walls and furnishings. The setting is Orwellian in its overtones: the image of Margaret Thatcher on the television screen hung over the operating table; the window through which one may witness the “operation”; the austere use of industrial gray and white; Hamilton has fashioned a scene which lacks only a human presence to complete it. The medicinal atmosphere of Treatment Room is very

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