“Thinking Aloud”

Camden Arts Centre

Richard Wentworth sums up “Thinking Aloud,” the traveling show he curated for the Hayward gallery, in characteristically unassuming language: It’s an assembly of items that collectively reveal “how we give meaning to things” and “the way that some things are like other things, and some things are different.” He insists he has “no fixed agenda”; he is not revealing his own train of thought, but drawing together things—thumbnail sketches, cardboard prototypes, diagrams, and so forth—that exemplify the links between artmaking and other problem-solving processes. Accordingly, visitors are left to devise their own systems of classification as they navigate this diverse and undeniably intriguing show. That’s the principle; in practice, Wentworth’s selection is highly idiosyncratic, and while it includes many fascinating objects, it also betrays a number of rather unappealing curatorial subtexts.

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