In most fields of human endeavour, many people put certain people at the top of the tree. But why should a few household names eclipse all contemporaries, precursors and descendants in this way?
So any attempt to replace trees with a less hierarchical grass-like model of appraisal and influence is to be applauded. Something like that has now been achieved by Departure Gallery.
Rhizomatic is a group show with more than 200 artists and an open curatorial plan: selected artists were each asked to invite six more artists, who in turn brought in six more, who in turn brought in another six.
The result is an industrial volume of work, which has been assembled in two vast warehouses on a trading estate in Southall, outside London. The rhizome in action is bewildering.
There are no maps. You have to find your own pathways through it. You have to look at the work before you see what it is called and who it might be by. Senses guide you, and often waylay you.
It is even probable, the show sets up lines of becoming, or lines of flight, to borrow some more terminology from Deleuze and Guattari, who supply the show’s name and organising principle.
Perhaps, in this case, those two can be believed, although philosophy does not really do household names.