Some small square canvases on the wall, just canvas.. It has the feeling of a minimally decorated On-Trend Fashion showroom launch. As one moves deeper into the space - looking for the opening night bar - there is a white clothing rack, white table, a white curtained change room; and someone to help you to UNIFORM. It's artist Chanelle Collier, quite naturally wearing fashion's favourite colour.. black. The clothes rack is mostly empty, there are Logo'd canvas suit-bags folded on the table; waiting.. for the clothing of anyone who changes from their clothes into the Uniform for the next 24 hours, becoming part of the art.
The show is titled UNIFORM and uniform is the artwork, the logo, the leitmotif. The word Uniform above a simple line drawing of a Unicorn's head says it all; well maybe not quite all. It does however do exactly what a Logo is supposed to do, create an immediate visual connection with the
Decoration over substance, conformity over vision, the gallery as temple, the artist as seer, machine made, hand made, is it possible to be Uniform and Unicorn at the same time?
This is one of the first exhibitions I have seen in quite a while where I didn't find myself wondering if the work might not possibly be a triumph of technique and style (top shelf decoration) over creative vision and substance. So while I suppose everyone who did choose to wear a boiler suit for 24 hours is most likely on their way to Masters degree in Art; making the process a bit of an inside job. That certainly does nothing to undermine that this show asks real questions of what art is and what it means to be an artist; and covers a lot more VERY unpopular creative ground. Really, when was the last time you saw art that challenged you to think about what is going with the world, with life, and how that fits with art? Uniform addressed a lot of ideas (mostly with a sense of fun and wit) that I have only very sketchily scratched the surface of here. The photographs below are a chronological documentation of the opening night of a three day show that I hope describe more than I have put into words above.
UNIFORM By Joe Wilson & Chanelle Collier. Lilac City Studio 17th November 2016. Darlinghurst, Sydney.
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Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
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