17
Mar
11

Review: ‘Navigating Widely’ by Vanila Netto at Arc One Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 1st March – 26th March 2011

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“There’s an odd diaristic quality to Vanila Netto’s photographic, still life, video and neon works. What at first might seem like a hotchpotch of gestures, assemblages and moments reveals a lateral narrative – still points on a fluid map.”

Dan Rule in The Age newspaper.

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Netto’s work moves from one place to another, ‘Navigating Widely’. Some elements are more successful than others. The grainy colour field photographs of extruded objects (foam packing, the detritus of cardboard) fail to impress lacking the fidelity that the subject matter requires and the ability to integrate successfully into the lateral narrative. The Super 8 film transferred to digital video ‘It is time to bridge’ (2011) is excellent, evoking as it does the utopian ideals of industrialisation, planes and rockets becoming “permanent and sedentary residents” of an abandoned dream park. The diptych neon installation ‘Elation, Deflation (Inner Tubes)’ (2011) is also effective in evoking the interface between human and machine.

The best work in the exhibition is the series of small square format, analogue colour photographs that have been printed digitally (see photographs below). There is a lovely spatial resistance in these photographs – hints of colour, slices, markings on walls, the collision of opposites – that elevates them above the rest of the exhibition. The punctum pricks our consciousness but is it enough? Although these are interesting photographs, are they photographs that you would remember in a week, a month or a year? More was needed to hang your hat on, perhaps an ambiguous sense of Time that stretched the frame of reference.

Overall, the hotchpotch of gestures, assemblages and moments needed a more substantial grounding and, for me, became points on a confused map: a collection of complexities, both global and personal, that needed a focusing of rationale and conceptualisation. Less is more! Drawing what are some good ideas and threads together in a simplified form would add to the strength of the work for there is talent here. Perhaps concentrating on one idea and exploring it more fully would be a step along the path. I look forward to the next literation.

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Many thanxk to Angela Connor for her help and to Arc One Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photograph for a larger version of the image.

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Vanila Netto
Colossus
2011
100 x 100 cm
Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

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Vanila Netto
Mir
2011
50 x 50 cm
Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

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Vanila Netto
Wheeling Consorts
2011
50 x 50 cm
Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

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Vanila Netto
Pole Relief
2011
50 x 50 cm
Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

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Vanila Netto
Solaris
2011
50 x 50 cm
Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

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Vanila Netto
Air Buzzing
2011
50 x 50 cm
Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

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Arc One Gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, 3000
T: (03) 9650 0589

Opening hours:
Tue – Sat 11am – 5pm

Arc One Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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