Friday, October 9, 2009

Spring Art Tour Joburg: Quickies



WTF? There were ten art openings in Joburg last night: I nearly wore my kitten heels into the ground dashing from one gallery and skidding into the next. Next time Artlogic really need to ensure that the openings are staggered – I can cope with three a night. Not that Artlogic are keen to take advice from moi! I would also suggest that they dump Grolsch – does anyone drink the stuff? Besides beer and art just aren’t a hot combo. Beer and Rugby: Yes. Beer and Art: No.  Art is best paired with wine or spirits – according to one gallerist I spoke to last night they quite like the Art & Collinson’s combo: “you can make great little cocktails with the stuff.”
A Grolsch bottle is only good when its empty and you can use it to put salad dressing inside. But I digress: most of the art last night was great. Will go into more detail with my grande review, which is in the process of being knocked into shape but here are a view quickie reviews of the top three shows:

Coming in at Number 1: Colin Richards at AOP:  this show kind of denies and encourages the art of quickie reviews. In one sentence: it reaches towards the rematerialisation of the object and the marginalisation of ideas. A reverse of the  conceptualist mode while still being conceptual: it’s a self-reflexive probe of conceptualism. The images are obsessively detailed and are breathtaking… what a clever, clever man


Number 2: Patmos and The War at Sea by Alistair Whitton: blurred photos from WWII teamed up with what appears to be Braille or a coded communication.  The images like the code need decoding not just semantically but visually.  The images are abstract, surreal and require an effort to grasp. He meditates on how we consume the past and the manner in which the past is always just beyond our grasp.  There’s a lot more to this, read my proper full length review to come…

Also Number 2: Gabrielle Goliath’s Murder on 7th Street at Momo Gallery: this could be Joburg’s version of Kathryn Smith’s exhibition at Goodman Cape with Margie Orford. Would have been interesting to compare the two. In this twist on the whodunit genre Goliath relates it to the crime phenomenon. Photographs of would-be victims or suspects are displayed on CCTV-type fixtures. Below each subject is a square of carpet, wood or tiling denoting their position in the domestic home – a nod to Cluedo. An amusing video artwork features a compendium of whodunits from CSI to Angela Lansbury, wryly commenting on our consumption of the genre.

Check out Robert Sloon's take on Spring Art Tour Cape Town: here