Around the galleries – July 2009

July 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

Published: The Age, A2, July 4, 2009.

Around the galleries Dan Rule

Marco Fusinato

WHAT Marco Fusinato: Double Infinitives
WHERE Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane, city, 9654 6131,

The towering images that comprise Melbourne artist and experimental musician Marco Fusinato’s Double Infinitives occupy a point of flux. Flat, smooth and mute, these ink-on-aluminium works depict scenes that are anything but. Each of the images – sourced from newsprint photographs of rioting – reveal a protagonist, rock in hand, surrounded by signifiers of destruction. Flames pour from an overturned car; a storm of smoke billows from a backdrop of burning rubble and street debris. But with proximity, these huge, seemingly referential works disperse and break apart. Step closer and photographic evidence turns to pattern and construct; arbitrary repetitions of ink on a flat surface. Fusinato seems to be playing with notions of engagement and indifference here – in particular, the desensitising, numbing effects of continuous media imagery. Standing amongst this series of chaotic, visceral and somehow beautiful images, the silence is deafening. Tues–Fri: Noon–6pm, Sat: 1pm–5pm. Until July 25.

Sanja Pahoki

WHAT Sanja Pahoki
WHERE ACCA @ Mirka, Tolarno Hotel, 42 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 9697 9999,

The latest in ACCA’s series of solo artist shows in the gallery space at Mirka restaurant, Sanja Pahoki’s new photographs juxtapose austere landscape and environment with flashes of humanity and humour. Taken during the rare daylight hours of a stint in the Icelandic winter, there’s an understated sense of beauty to these empty images. In one photograph, a house littered with Christmas lights shines like a tiny beacon amid a tiny town dwarfed by a huge, looming mountainside. Others see Pahoki as the subject: trying to shoulder-charge her way through a jammed door (apparently a regular occurrence in Reykjavik during winter) in one, or hugging a dead tree in another. While their setting may be cold and inhospitable, these evocative works resonate with feeling and warmth. Daily: 10am–Midnight. Until September 30.

Cailan Burns

WHAT Cailan Burns: Too Much to Dream
WHERE Lamington Drive, 89 George Street, Fitzroy, 8060 9745,

Melbourne via Adelaide illustrator Cailan Burns invokes the spirit of Maurice Sendak and Jim Henson in his debut solo exhibition at Lamington Drive. His luridly rendered, psychedelic love monsters, hairy mutants and beasties are the kind you’d like to take home to dinner, then maybe later, take to bed for a platonic snuggle. But there’s more at play here than a warm, fuzzy feeling. Themes of connection and emotional rupture reverberate through these works. Ribcages splay open and love-hearts gush from empty eye sockets. Tues–Fri: 11am–6pm, Sat: Noon–5pm. Until July 18.

WHAT Greg Spiller: Even the Abyss has a Silver Lining
WHERE C3 Contemporary Art Space, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, 9416 4300,

Greg Spiller’s series of large-scale photographs is a highlight of C3 Contemporary Art Spaces tenth anniversary group exhibition. Showing along with installations, graphite on paper, glass sculpture and Carmel Seymour’s stunning watercolours, Spiller’s diaristic prints work to simultaneously allude and abstract. Shooting on a rural roadside before dawn, he concentrates on the filters and surfaces that stand between viewer and subject. While we can just make out the presumed subject matter – moodily lit landscapes and Spiller himself – it is the intervention of light or texture that draws our attention. In one image, a scattering of rain droplets on a car windscreen foregrounds a barely-visible landscape. In another series, stunning light motifs – distorted headlights, we can only guess – all but whiteout Spiller’s arm’s length self-portraits. Wed–Sun: 10am–5pm. Until July 12.


WHAT Yvette Bacina: Fierce Creatures, Regan Tamanui: New Works
WHERE Dickerson Gallery, 44 Oxford Street, Collingwood, 9416 0031,

Regan Tamanui (aka Ha-Ha) and Yvette Bacina (aka Vexta) have carved themselves a niche atop an oft-overblown street art idiom. Exhibiting alongside each other, they present very different, nonetheless highly refined approaches to stencil art. Tamanui’s softened, washed-out canvases reconfigure and regurgitate a stream of pop-cultural and ancestral references amid a sea of white, ghostly silhouettes. Bacina’s work, meanwhile, extends the interface between the urban and natural environment to a point of metamorphosis. Her striking human figures sprout florescent wings and feathers, while gigantic bird’s nest made from broken shovels, branches, tape and urban debris hangs in the middle of the space. Tues–Sat: 10:30am–5:30pm. Until July 12.


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