13 October 2013:
a recent German language class break, I decided to take a small stroll
down one of the corridors. This seemed more preferable than attempting
to drink instant coffee. It was during this break that I discovered one
of Matthys Gerber's works entitled 'Family' (2001) which is now
belongs to the Sydney University Art Collection. Despite being poorly
lit, one could still immerse oneself within the multiple layers in his
work. The light values in Gerber's work frequently reminds me of the
Northern Flemish School, both historical and contemporary living
clearly remember a conversation with Nick Waterlow many years ago where
he re-iterated a conversation he had with Mattys re a show that Nick
was curating for Artspace. Nick's only request to Matthys was, 'No painting, ok',
followed by Nick's carefully timed pause and a solemn slow nod of his
capped head. For this project, Mattys created a memorable installation
where he took the paint off the canvas and reconfigured one of his
paintings into a very playful 3d installation that the viewer accessed
through a small viewing portal. Gerber's work has always subliminally
reminded me of many exhibition excursions with my Mother and my younger brother in the mid
1970s to view Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski's early laser installations
and experiments in Adelaide.
This then brings me to Nick Strike's current exhibition. 'October'
at 55 Sydneham Road, Sydneham. Nick has once again presented the viewer
with multiple entry points into his personal cosmology through filmic
references, Hitchock's 'North by Northwest', Sergei Eisenstein's 'Oktober' and the re-occurring monolith from 2001 A Space Odyssey. The conceptual and psychoanalytic layering
present in each work presents viewers with the opportunity to fall into
the work as deeply as they choose, or as deeply as they are able to.
This is not art as furnishing, fashion, asset or entertainment. Second
and subsequent viewings of Nick's works reward astute viewers. I hope to
get a second look next weekend before the exhibition closes.
Closing: Justin Henderson's 'Forever New II' exhibition
took me to Wollongong's Project Contemporary Artspace last weekend.
Justin's architecturally inspired installation presented a sardonic
interpretation of the Marouba Beach landscape and aspirational value
systems and their signifiers, such as the MacMansion, 'the boat'
and the obligatory linguini van [SUV]. Henderson's works keep coming
back to me, like John Spiteri's show earlier this year. I am always
thrilled and curious when works come back to me when I least expect it.