Talk about stepping back in time - this show put me way back when, or as North American Hipsters would have it, 'back in the day'... And what day would that be? Well the 80's of course. I may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed but; even then; how sharp do you need to be to get something. Something... This is what I got; kind of.
On a dark and chilly night in I found myself at an exhibition entitled "Careers in Retail" by a 'consortium' of artists, "Dexter Fletcher". Was this a realist show of some sort? Well I had trouble finding it at first as the poster on the door really did look like a career training poster from back-in-the-day and it did not help that the gallery shares space with commercial business. Eventually I worked it out and made my way upstairs to the intimate art space that is 55 Sydenham Rd for the first time, entering a room of large format, graphic illustrations/art - heavy with texts and quotations - and a Manifesto, something all artists have dreamed of having at some point in time; here it was and for all the crowded text on image of the art, the Manifesto had just two words in bold-all-caps that sized up the Zeitgeist of 80's art school thought on conventional employment, NEVER WORK! After all how can you make art and change the world if you have a full time job. An Old (art) Skool sentiment if ever there was one and the second time I have seen it in as many weeks. Something is coming back at us from the past.
You know, Street Fashion Sydney has of late been privately bemoaning the lack of political point-of-view in the world of 'fashion blogging' in-particular and art in general - but here it was - a show taking on the desire that drives creativity and the desire for change. Change not driven by the corporate sponsorship of creativity that seems to have been all the rage for the last 20 or so years and now going LARGE with so-called independent bloggers... this show seemed to be taking on the life conflicts of creativity at a grass roots level. Did I like the show? It really doesn't matter; it made me a little uncomfortable and for the past couple of days it has made me think and kept me thinking. Now that's something you don't get at every art show...
Careers in Retail, Dexter Fletcher - 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville 6 - 22 July 2012.