Multimedia in art isn't a new concept, far from it, but this exhibition – HUGO: Red Never Follows – that fills half of the top floor of the grand Saatchi Gallery makes it feel like the most modern of inventions.
The perfumer and designer Hugo Boss celebrates its 20 years with this exhibition of works by 20 contemporary artists from around the world. The exhibition is named "Red" after Hugo Boss's "iconic" male fragrance, and the suitably extravagant bold red designs throughout the exhibition, from the graffiti-esque path painting that first greets you (striking work by Steffen Seeger – apparently done without a single break in the line) to the great red domes holding an eerie sound and curious listeners.
Several artists and their creations greet you and each is as different as the next. There is the bizarrely stationary "Leaning Man" which I found many a viewer hesitantly taking a peek at, quite understandably considering how human it was and at the same time alien-like in its stillness. A video of false emotions manipulated onto faces is displayed, and it's fascinating to watch as each person feels the same thrill alongside nibbles of pain and anguish. There are a lot of things in this exhibition that need a good gawp, which is great –because it's art.
This is a very brand-related exhibition, which supposedly should make the whole experience feel a little pretentious, but I never once felt like I was being sold anything. Models and clothing only popped up once on a screen near the exit, posing and attempting to make a stand as an artwork – rather pointless amongst the other sights and artworks which I found much more interesting. I get pretty, skinny models shoved in my face every day in advertisements on my computer, billboards and magazines, and I found it had no place in the gallery, despite the clear talent behind the production.
My favourite piece that I found myself coming back to over and over again was surely a piece by "Us" – the music video-directing duo Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor behind many a hip music video from the likes of the Foals and Kimbra. I vaguely remember seeing this a while ago before it was deemed fit to adorn the walls of an art gallery, and I was happy to be able to drink it in again once more. The piece depicts a sound wave being built by hundreds of broken vinyl records, a nod to the technology of today as well as the beauty of yesterday. Gorgeous, even if the music isn't exactly to my taste.
There is too much going on to describe everything, but I urge you to visit the exhibition: it's free after all, and just as interactive as the Science Museum. It's an exhibition of sights and sounds, a lot of fun, and there is always the rest of the Saatchi Gallery to play with while you're there.