Around the galleries – June 2009

June 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

Published: The Age, A2, June 6, 2009.

Around the galleries – Dan Rule

James Dodd

WHAT James Dodd: Insane in the Lane
WHERE Lindberg Contemporary Art, 48 Cambridge Street, Collingwood, 0403 066 775,

Transcending the often-narrow bounds of a street art show, James Dodd’s latest exhibition takes the art, perse, out of the frame. Dodd’s canvases see him collate the random street scrawl of Melbourne lanes and Darwin bus shelters – the volumes of found text and its illegible detritus – only to re-etch and recompose these disembodied voices into impeccably finished, large-scale works. Their effectiveness lies in their plethora of intonations. Mini-narratives emerge: stunted conversations, potty-mouthed taunts, drunk philosophical gesticulations, haphazard splays of affection and expression. By skirting the premeditated and the self-conscious, Dodd’s works breathe with a lurid immediacy and humanity. Wed–Sat: 11am–5pm. Until June 17.

John Parkinson

WHAT Exploration 9
WHERE Flinders Lane Gallery, 137 Flinders Lane, city, 9654 3332,

The ninth instalment in F.L.G.’s Exploration program, an annual group show comprising emerging Melbourne artists, encompasses anything from unassuming oils on canvas to Jee Young Park’s immersive, room-sized installation of plastic sheeting. The assortment reveals a couple of standouts. John Parkinson’s digital vinyl prints of altered cityscapes play with the architectural and spatial motifs of the modern city. Concrete towers, symmetrical window lines and confined, outdoor spaces are repeated and abstracted; flashes of the natural world perforate, leaving both a familiar resonance and alien quality. At the other end of the space, Lisa O’Flynn’s kinetic installation of vertical wires – each topped, flower-like, with a small circular mirror – throws ornate clusters of reflected light against the gallery walls. Tues–Fri: 11am–6pm, Sat: 11am–4pm. Until June 13.

Rose Nolan

WHAT Rose Nolan: Another Homework Experiment
WHERE Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane, city, 9654 6131,

In the past, Rose Nolan’s imposing abstract works have been accused – perhaps unfairly – of lacking the ideas to match their monumental scale. Her latest exhibition comprises a massive expanse of painted and perforated hessian, which hangs from one end of the gallery to the other; a long tunnel you must walk to reach the rest of the space and view the painted, outer surface, emblazoned with the hole-riddled aphorisms “HARD BUT FAIR” and “POINTLESS”. But there’s certainly a point there. It’s whilst inside the tunnel – surrounded by the fragile, unpainted underside of the hessian – that the work’s allusion to decay and corrosion rings strongest. Another Homework Experiment may be huge, but it hangs only by a few threads. Tues–Fri: noon–6pm, Sat: 1pm–5pm. Until June 20.

WHAT Sonia Leber & David Chesworth: Space-Shifter
WHERE Conical Inc., Upstairs, 3 Rochester Street, Fitzroy, 9415 6958,

Long-serving Melbourne installation artists Sonia Leber and David Chesworth espouse the spirit of the trickster in their latest collaboration. The propped-up shards of distressed sheet-metal that litter the space at Conical are but a ruse for a lurking, inscrutable entity. Human voices (some belonging to the Melbourne Philharmonic Choir) stalk you as you make your way about the space; cackles, giggles and nonsensical grunts ring out, bouncing off the sculptural structures and vibrating the floorboards. Referencing philosopher Mladen Dolar’s notion that the voice becomes unruly when levered from its “textual anchorage”, Leber and Chesworth have outwardly succeed in forging such a cheeky, uncomfortable and exhilarating space. Wed–Sat: noon–5pm. Until June 13.

WHAT And the Difference Is… The Independence Project
WHERE Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, 200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 9419 3406,

And the Difference Is… is the latest in Gertrude’s cultural exchange program across the Asia Pacific region, and sees a clutch of Australian and Singaporean artists and curators – working in text, video and installation – engage with notions of exchange and the value of the interpersonal in today’s world of contracts and bureaucratic directives. While a proportion of these works are a somewhat dense and not for everybody, there are plenty of works that immediately engage and reward. Ming Wong’s four-channel remake of an archaic Malay sitcom and Simon Pericich attempt at adding “bling” to printed newspaper images of disaster victims are two highlights. Tue–Fri: 11am–5.30pm, Sat: 11am–4.30pm. Until June 20.


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