Around the galleries – August 2009

August 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

Published: The Age, A2, August 15, 2009.

Around the galleries Dan Rule

Katherine Huang

WHAT Katherine Huang
WHERE Neon Parc, Level 1, 53 Bourke Street, city, 9663 0911, neonparc.com.au

This unassuming little show from Melbourne’s Katherine Huang resonates with both an architectural and geographical nuance. Her compact, modular sculptural arrangements – comprising plaster and terracotta casts, plastics and discreet, found objects – feel like the relics of a lost city. But this new body of work, created following travels in the Middle East, isn’t part of some modelling project. The architectural languages that permeate Huang’s work are far too inconspicuous to be literal. A potential roofline occupies the mind for a second, before being subsumed by a less definable angularity; a city square becomes a more abstract gesture of space. The fact that her primary terracotta works were cast from the polystyrene packaging of an Apple Macbook offers another intriguing divergence. Wed to Sat noon–6pm, until August 29.

WHAT Octopus 9: I Forget to Forget
WHERE Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, 200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 9419 3406, gertrude.org.au

Curated by the NGV’s Stephen Gilchrist, the ninth edition of Gertrude’s annual flagship curatorial project Octopus wrestles with the socio-cultural tropes of Australia’s post ‘Sorry’ landscape. Disturbing iconography and relics surface in several of these works. Tony Albert’s exotic OTHER comprises a wall of vintage ‘noble savage’ ephemera, while Jonathan Jones’ adjoining fluorescent lighting installation bathes the room in pervasive white glow. Andrea Fisher’s Shackles series, meanwhile, is both quaint and disturbing. This group of artists render ‘Sorry’ a hollow phrase without genuine and enduring acknowledgement. Tues to Fri 11am-5:30pm, Sat 11am-4:30pm, until August 29.

Louis Porter

WHAT Louis Porter: Australian Colour
WHERE Monash Gallery or Art, 860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill, 9562 1569, mga.org.au

Living in Australia since 2000, English-born photographer Louis Porter sees his adopted homeland through a fresh, unjaded pair of peepers in new show Australian Colour. Across a suite of 17 large-scale inkjet prints, Porter recasts the gritty suburbia of Melbourne’s outer north, west and southeast as sites brimming with aesthetic happenstance and almost fantastical possibilities. Opportunistic crops, empty streetscapes and saturated colour are very much Porter’s currency here. A knot of bright red flowers entwine a rusted, railway line fence in Newport; a pair of former taxis make an all too perfect colour match with a canary yellow shopfront in Dandenong. Through a different pair of eyes, these suburban scenes could have easily become yet another dire representation of Australian suburbia, but nimbly sidesteps the archetype. His gaze is affixed only on the countless potentialities. Tues to Fri 10am–5pm, Sat to Sun noon–5pm, until September 13.

Paul Yore

WHAT Paul Yore: The Big Rainbow Funhouse of Cosmic Brutality
WHERE Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen, 9850 1500, heidi.com.au

Detritus is the new black in the art world. Barely a week unfolds without another new crop of artists emptying their gleaned junk onto a gallery floor. That said, Paul Yore has unfurled one of this year’s most arresting, positively mind-bending examples of junk-related practice at Heide III’s project space. The Rainbow Funhouse’s loquacious title doesn’t even come close to invoking the sheer scope of its detail. Constructed from an intricate tangle of gaudily coloured consumerist waste, throwaway plastic products, twigs, branches and motorised parts, the Funhouse is as garish and psychedelic as it is beautiful. Totemic structures composed of bottle caps, fake flowers, dolls heads, red cordial fountains and a reconfigured, percussion-producing turntable echo with themes of rituality, consumerism and environmental decay. Yore’s lurid world lays bare the absurdity of our own. Tues to Fri 10am–5pm, Sat to Sun noon–5pm, $12 (adult) $10 (senior) $8 (concession), until November 15.

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