Archive for March 6th, 2009

06
Mar
09

Opening 2: ‘New work’ by Richard Grigg at Block Projects, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 5th March – 28th March 2009

Opening: Thursday 5th March 2009

 

Richard Grigg. 'New work' opening night crowd at Block Projects, Melbourne

 

Richard Grigg
New Work exhibition
Opening night crowd at Block Projects, Melbourne

 

 

Moving down Flinders Lane we ascended to the fourth floor and entered the beautiful light filled gallery space at Block Projects to view the ‘new work’ of Richard Grigg. An eclectic mix of sculpture, painting, drawing, and collage was presented. Preparatory drawings for one of the sculptures, a pencil drawing of two old men debating, a canvas of a camera in tempera, gold leaf and gesso vie for attention with the two standout pieces of the show: No more songs at funerals/hero today gone tomorrow (2007) and He can’t read well because of his horns (2009), surrealist sculptures both made of compressed cardboard (below).

These two sculptures are fantastic: the first forming a skull made out of birds perched on a cross surmounted by a bird holding an olive branch, the title deliciously ironic; the second a stooped gargoyle like creature with a massive extrusion for a nose, hanging tongue dripping saliva and phantasmagorical protrusions emerging from it’s head making it impossible for the creature to ‘read well’ in both the metaphorical and literal sense. This is a beautiful but grotesque primordial fantasy with the horns putting roots down in the soil like the roots of a mangrove tree, a gold leaf flower blooming at their outer reaches, the creature exhausted by the effort of trying to keep his head up.

Unfortunately the rest of the exhibition lacked core strength: conceptually the show is not strong. Evidence of beauty in decay and concerns about the process of ageing vie with environmental contexts; slippages in time (The Moment Between) contrast with cameras and their sight lines; Pinocchio lies under a shroud with a camera trapped in the back of a horse drawn cart (Dream of Rest). Apparently, the cameras do not signify the capturing of the frozen moment of beauty but they are there because the artist’s father collected cameras. To me they seemed to be defining the nature of our interaction with the world, the surface of the image controlling the interface between technology and earth.

One of the problems with undertaking an exhibition titled New Work is the assumption that the new work being produced hangs together holistically and tells a not necessarily linear narrative story but one that the viewer can investigate, question, and tease the pertinent concepts from – something the viewer can hang their hat on (perhaps the horns of a dilemma!) This was not the case here. The bits n bobs approach of this exhibition falls slightly flat but go see the show for the two sculptures – they alone are worth the effort!

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to Block Projects for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Richard Grigg. 'No more songs at funerals/hero today gone tomorrow' 2007-2009

 

Richard Grigg
No more songs at funerals/hero today gone tomorrow
2007-2009
Layered boxboard, wood dowel, glue, pine, black gloss enamel, Perspex

 

Richard Grigg. 'He can't read well because of his horns' 2009

 

Richard Grigg
He can’t read well because of his horns
2009
Layered boxboard, gold leaf, wood dowel, glue, pine, black gloss enamel, wood stain

 

Richard Grigg. 'Dream of Rest' 2007

 

Richard Grigg
A Late Night Story
2007
pencil on paper

 

Richard Grigg. 'Older than the value of beauty' 2009

 

Richard Grigg
Older than the value of beauty (detail)
2009
Tempera, gold leaf and gesso on board

 

Richard Girgg. 'Cloak' 2008

 

Richard Grigg
Cloak
2008
Tempera, gold leaf and gesso on board

 

 

Block Projects
Level 1 / 252 Church Street
Richmond Victoria 3121 Australia
Phone: +61 3 9429 0660

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 11am – 5pm
Saturday: 12pm – 5pm

formerly at

Level 4, 289 Flinders Lane,
Melbourne 3000

Block Projects website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

06
Mar
09

Opening 1: Review: ‘Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity’ by Damiano Bertoli at The Narrows, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 5th March – 28th March

Opening Thursday March 6th 2009

 

Damiano Bertoli. 'Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity' 2009 video still

Damiano Bertoli. 'Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity' 2009 video still

 

Damiano Bertoli
Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity
2009
video stills

 

 

In a busy night of openings in Melbourne we arrive to watch, to be a spectator and voyeur at Damiano Bertoli’s new twin video installation at The Narrows on Flinders Lane, ensconced in the darkness of the gallery space. The looped installation features on the left scenes from the original Miami Vice TV series and on the right approximate scenes from the 2006 feature film of the same name. The synchronicity of the two splices of time moving in and out of register is uncanny. We have memories of these appearances, flickering signifiers embedded in our psyche which are called to presence in the space between screen and viewer as we add our own layer of temporal distortion to the unfolding events.

In an erudite catalogue note Bertoli expounds on the nature of the performative and the question of authorship by analysing Glenn Gould’s two recordings of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, one recorded at the beginning of his career and one in the final year of his life. Bertoli posits that Gould used counterpoint “as a formal construct for its capacity to produce ‘an explosion of simultaneous idea’s’ … as a solution for his dissatisfaction with singularity and linear definition.”

He notes that, “As an interpreter of others work, Gould occupied a position of equivalence – we are aware that we are listening to Bach and Gould – simultaneously … These co-existing yet distinct voices move in and out of synchronicity, as does the listener’s experience of Gould’s interpretation (actually an interpretation of an interpretation) as the latter version iterates and embodies the version which precedes it. We are constantly comparing the two, as is Gould.”

This is quite true but I do not think the metaphor can be so literally applied to the video installation Bertoli has constructed. Firstly Gould’s interpretations and our recognition of them requires knowledge of the authoritative voice of the author as composer and the author as performer: Bach and Gould. Conversely in the videos the directors are unknown by most and the actors anonymous except by those with specific memory of appearances. There is no contrapuntal fugue like working of the sound or images in search of the purity of musical ideas – the dialogue talks over each other and splice cuts jump the scene from one location to another – forming a fractured hypertextual narrative driven by the spectacular gaze of the viewer, a simularcrum of the ‘real’. The simultaneity of being in three worlds at once is the world of simulacra not of equivalence.

As Ron Burnett has observed

“Video creates what I will describe as a logic of the present while simultaneously producing an image-event in the past. This generates a somewhat different temporal context than we are normally accustomed to – a mixture of present and past that is both, and neither, simultaneously. The disjuncture that results is part of the attraction but also part of what makes the electronic image so puzzling. It suggests that history has already been made while one continues to make it. It is this suppleness that allowed broadcasters for example to repeat the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles over and over again, as if each showing would somehow reconstitute the event, as if to prove that this was not a dramatisation, not a fiction. In order to gain control over the many disjunctures, repetition was used … But this only validates the contradictions, proposing that the disjunctures in time and place can be controlled, that there is some way of gaining authority over the impact of the event as image.”1

.
I would argue that what Bertoli’s installation does offer is a release from inert rationalist geometries, a deterritorialization and reterritorialization of temporal time in a heterotopic space, juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible. These are layered images of hyper-performativity and hypermediacy, where the fragmented images become a process and a performance, where the spectator becomes the screen not the author.

As Baudrillard has said, “Today we live in the imaginary world of the screen, of the interface and the reduplication of contiguity and networks. All our machines are screens. We too have become screens, and the interactivity of men has become the interactivity of screens. Nothing that appears on the screen is meant to be deciphered in depth, but actually to be explored instantaneously, in an abreaction immediate to meaning.”2

Here is the immediacy of continuous time – the removal of psychological depth, the reduction of life to a series continuous presents and surface phenomena that repeat over and over again. Is this bad infinity? We will never know as we can never have knowledge of infinity, it is a noumenal concept, an event known only to the imagination – independent of the senses.

This is an interesting and fun installation. Well worth a visit.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to The Narrows gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

  1. Burnett, Ron. Cultures of Vision: Images, Media, & the Imaginary. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995, p. 249
  2. Baudrillard, Jean. Xerox and Infinity (trans. Agitac). Paris: Touchepas, 1988, p. 7

 

 

 

Damiano Bertoli Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity (2009)

 

g

Damiano Bertoli. 'Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity' 2009 video still

Damiano Bertoli. 'Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity' 2009 video still

 

Damiano Bertoli
Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity
2009
video stills

 

Damiano Bertoli. 'Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity' 2009 video still

Damiano Bertoli. 'Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity' 2009 video still

 

Damiano Bertoli
Continuous Moment: Bad Infinity
2009
video stills

 

 

The Narrows

This gallery is now closed.

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top




Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email me at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Join 2,688 other followers

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email Marcus at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

March 2009
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Archives

Categories