There were seven artists, some with more than one work, and not all of them made an impression. 'Untitled (Blue Placebo)', by Felix Gonzales-Torres, had explanations involving the usefulness-uselessness of placebos and medicines according to circumstance, but to me the rectangle of blue-wrapped sweets just could not be made to carry the weight of all those meanings. I liked the look of Bob and Roberta Smith's wooden signs but (my problem, I know) they mostly made me want to correct the spelling errors. Julian Opie's blank headstones did make you think that names were going to be carved on them, but I didn't feel that meant much to me.
That it meant so very little to me did make me consider - I decided that, like Nazi experiments on Jewish victims, it was all so dehumanizing that the brain couldn't make sense of it, couldn't make it fit into normal life parameters. Unless it was that we are all desensitised these days, with violence and horror so often presented to us in one form or another. But I think the actual heartlessness of the original experiment was the thing.
Which leaves three artists. Sam Taylor-Wood showed a speeded-up film of a bowl of fruit deteriorating from fresh to a shapeless, fly-wreathed slump of brown goo. It was fascinating to watch the rot set in and I really enjoyed it, but it was like watching an experiment - afterwards I found myself wondering if I would feel the same experimenting on animals (or humans) instead of fruit, just wrapped up in watching the process, not the subjects. I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but it was uncomfortable. I appreciate the sort of art that comes back to visit your thoughts - it doesn't matter how it's worked but, on whatever level, it has.
Having just watched Cornelia Parker on 'What do artists do all day?', and with memories of her works at a show in the Baltic a few years back, I was pre-disposed to like her pieces - 'A Feather from Freud's Pillow' and 'Avoided Object'. The former was a projection of exactly what it says, and the latter four photos of cloudy skies taken above the Imperial War Museum on a camera formerly owned by the Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, both works - but especially the latter - being given extra meaning by their provenance. It was fascinating watching her talk on 'What do artists do all day?' - absolutely everything she does seems to be freighted with questioning, probing. She looks into the depths of everything. Rather humbling. Having said that, I confess I just liked the pretty pictures and the provenance didn't make much odds - I think I might be a little too shallow, but I still appreciate the idea.