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> > > Review: DaDaFest 2009 - Kevin Connolly photographs at Open Eye Gallery

By Susan Bennett

shows a man wearing t-shirt on a dockside. He has no legs, and is standing next to a skateboard

Kevin Connolly in Liverpool. Photo by Jon Stone

Susan braves the weather to search out a major exhibition by Kevin Connolly at Open Eye Gallery, part of DaDaFest 2009 in Liverpool.

It was yet another wet afternoon in Liverpool and a good day for seeing DaDaFest 2009 exhibitions without distraction – unless you count the challenge of finding them!

But when you’re hunched over in the pelting rain, hood up and eyes down, it is hard to miss something even as big as the Open Eye Gallery on Wood Street.

I enquired of bouncers at various exotic looking establishments in the street who in turn took me inside black, scarlet and flashing interiors to consult bar staff and lonely punters.

The very complicated directions didn’t help at all but it was great fun asking…. And I got there in the end.

photo of two men dressed as roman centurions looking downwards at the photographer

Two men, Kevin Connelly. From The Rolling Exhibition at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

I had the huge Open Eye gallery to myself, and a set of poster-sized colour photos, all taken from about a foot off the ground.

This was Kevin Connolly’s take on the world from his unique position on the skateboard he uses for transportation, having no legs himself.

He has photographed people in 31 cities and the photos say a great deal about peoples’ unconscious reactions to him.

You can see the thoughts flashing across their faces - and probably mine too as I looked at them looking down at him; for my first thought was ‘What a lot of hairy legs!’

There are workmen, tourists and my favourite, two National Guards in Roman battle togas entitled: ‘Two Men Split Croatia’. On second glance there was a comma there somewhere….

But the shots are excellent, from a man caught in the act of peeing (or worse) between market stalls in Kuala Lumpur, to one in Los Angeles of a girl posing model-like whilst a lamppost leans at 45 degrees across the scene.

I tried to imagine what angle Kevin must have been at when he took that one and the answer is extremely slewed!

The Rolling Exhibition by Kevin Connolly
17 November - 5 December
Open Eye Gallery, 28-32 Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4AQ
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10.30am - 5.30pm
FREE Telephone info: 0151 709 9460

See more about Kevin Connolly's show on the Open Eye website

Go to Kevin Connolly's website to see more images from the Rolling Exhibition and to find out about his autobiography, 'Double Take: A Memoir'