Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Recent viewings

13 October 2013: 
During 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 artists.

I 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. 

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