Looking at photography and art over the last 4 weeks; or something like that...
Well I clearly did not make it to every photography show in town in the last month but I did make it to a few and some other art events as well including Elodie Silberstien's White Ribbon Day performance piece which I had the pleasure of shooting the promotional photographs for..
But lets go back to the 11 11, always an important calandar day (forget fashion parades at Northies...) and the launch date for what I think it would be fair to call the most recent installment in North Sullivan's ongoing urban/community portrait project. This time titled 'Doorstop Portraits in Glebe' it was a porch project incorporating the immediate architecture or the 'sitters' front porch or veranda; all shot on an iPhone 4 (!!!) and beautifully printed. I have long admired much of the council housing of the Glebe area and North has captured this architecture as beautifuly as he has the residents themselves. Some of the shots are a wee tad on the sentimental side but what can I say, they work! Lovingly crafted community projects like this is something Sydney needs more of. You can still see much of the show online here, 'Doorstop Portraits in Glebe'.
Next up I attended 'Round 2' A.R.P Artists Residency Program on Oxford Street. I am becoming a big fan of Rachel Park's work since first seeing her installation piece at SNO in 2010. lets face it anyone who can use that much toilet paper is MORE than a legend in their own bathroom and Rachel is taking it to the world!
I can't say I felt the same about Anna Laerkesen's photographs from her 'Strangelands' series, one of which you can see reflected in the mirror in the gallery shot below. It was the first of two occasions reported here where I was quite deeply conflicted over what I saw, on this occasion a fairly low technical quality & inconsistency of approach to the photography that seemed to undermine the artist's intent. Or perhaps it was just me... How can you love waving toilet paper and be deeply conflicted over a few photographic prints? Well it's all in how you look at it.
I also took a look at Cherine Fahd's laneway text art which scopes about a modern paranoia; of course there were a few jokes made at the arts expense but I suspect Cherine would have been quite OK with that.
On 26th November as part of White Ribbon day Memorium #2. This would have to be one of the first times where part of the art was the delivery of information about the death of women (and some men) from domestic violence! The procession began with Patricia rather aptly singing Summertime (and the living is easy) from Porgy & Bess "...It deals with his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin' Life, the drug dealer."
Next was Dan Stock's 'Echoes of Unknown Thought' at index space; large prints of Dan's photographs of rare (mostly military use) Valves; which for those of you unfamiliar with the history of electronics were the larger less stable precursor to the transistor-which eventually made portable computing possible! And this was the second look-at-photography this month that left me feeling a little uncomfortable with the technical side of the art process.
Still I got more of an impression that Dr Dan Stock was more of a fan of the Valve and the giant (or fairly large) prints were more of an Homage, a bloody big fanzine to 'The Valve' which was great as I am quite a big fan myself! Not to mention is was nice to talk to someone who knows that William Shockley (along with John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain) invented the first-world-powerhouse, the Transistor. And that Steve Jobs actually invented nothing at all...
And on Friday night I attended Alex Wisser's first solo at MOP gallery in Chippendale. Alex's large scale giclée prints were as beautiful and intoxicating as the works themselves; empty rooms, a distant past 'found' in the present as these homes were placed on the market.
The A.R.P., Dan Stock's, and Alex Wisser shows are on NOW!
EDITORIAL: Tian Yi for UK Vogue, March 2014
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