The Guardian Guide, 8th January 2010

Adam Gillam, Kenneth Halliwell & Joe Orton, London

"Libraries might as well not exist; they've got endless shelves for rubbish and hardly any space for good books." So wrote Joe Orton in 1967. He had reason to grumble: before he became the radical provocateur playwright, Orton made his first imaginative assault on staid middle-class British life with a practical joke at his Islington library that earned him six months in jail. Along with his lover Kenneth Halliwell, he worked mischief on book jackets, collaging pictures with the covers of impossibly dull titles. This impish act of art stealth has inspired Adam Gillam's latest installation, on show alongside some of the original doctored dust jackets. Gillam's urban interventions are of a slightly different stripe to the writers', though he shares their playful spirit. His favoured materials are MDF, cardboard, photos and charity shop finds, brought together in tottering, risky constructions.
Ancient & Modern, EC1, Thu to 26 Feb