Thursday, December 17, 2009

APT6 - The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at GOMA, Brisbane

Today I was enraptured by exhibits at the APT at the Gallery of Modern Art. A good friend from Melbourne was in town and we had wonderful few hours at this recently opened show. All I can say is that I am so pleased to have the luxury of time to be able to attend the triennial over the next few months - the chance  to view various spaces at leisure, watch films and attend special events - most of it free and open to the public.
First up is the jaw-dropping taxidermied elk with glass and acrylic beads called Pix-Elk#2 2009 by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa. I took a number of photos from various angles in the attempt to capture the sheer visual delight of the glass beads. In a small room of its own, with extraordinary white lighting and an unusually low ceiling the effect once inside and close up was both mesmerising and mind-blowing. It was created with the support of the Fondation d'enterprise Hermes and one can see why such support was necessary. I had seen promo images of the Elk - despite drawing ones attention it had nothing of the impact of seeing it today. When you visit the Gallery website you can read more on this work and listen to a audio guide to hear it discussed - as with various works in this show. The virtual tour may be found here.

Installation: Escape! For a dream land - Jiten Thurkral and Sumir Tagra have been collaborating since 2000. This installation refers to the Punjabi cultural phenomenon of migration to Europe, Nth America or Australia in search of  a better life and the prestige that brings to families. Walls are lined with photos of the young who have left home. This was a wonderful installation to walk into and spend time in. Vivid - but not just in the obvious ways. The fact one could sit on the lounge amidst this domesticity - albeit rather stage-set-like - the sense of social aspiration and changes taking places was eveident. (Thanks to my friend CC for playing a part here!) Read more here and see their website here.

Thukral and Tagra
NOTE: I took many images today and will no doubt take more. The works on view are diverse and highly engaging. I have only referred to two works here which is a minute taste of what can be seen and experienced at APT.


janis said...

Ah so much goodness... though the big studio clean up is something I can relate to for sure - think I better get on the stick and clean mine. It always feels soooo much better, and better for art making :)

Love your garden and those massive seed pods! xo, j.

Sophie Munns said...

Ah Janis,
it does indeed feel good to do that clean up - one puts a line between then and now and finds forgotten pieces as well. This is one year I dont feel particularly regretful of things not done - somehow priorities were made under "is this authentic?" and all else dropped off the map. So the success of that is not external but rather an internal thing.
It takes courage to be authentic - things dont work so well till one is and does - so best to be very glad about those who come with and not worry about where resistance lies - that is not one's concern!
Happy spring cleaning Janis!
(autumn, winter in your world!)
Sophie xo

em said...

so is that a real elk with the glass balls on it? it looks like you can see the fur magnified? your writing really conveys how it feels to see it! so much art has to be experienced in person to be appreciated - thanks for helping us really look at the elk piece. i wonder if that piece will ever be in NYC?

Sophie Munns said...

Those are glass and plastic balls and the hair is from the actual elk that was taxidermied and bought at auction.
I read a really tough crit on this work and some of the others on the weekend. Mainly re the artists statement re the point of his work.... and the fact of the cost involved and the necessary sponsorship.
I guess I had doubted the point and I certainly was not taken by images I'd seen... but... seeing it took me somewhere not unlike images one sees of microscopic worlds and new science phenomena.
It was distinctly other - in a way I could not fail to be drawn by.
I have for some years worked with certain images of overlapping circular and spherical forms repeatedly in my journal and something here clicked on a whole other level!
The artist's intention was said to be something else than where i found my mind going, Curious.

Ok... just had a thought... dew drops on leaves... something you have photographed more than once Em - you know how liquid displaces imagery, distorts and alters things... this was what was so mesmerising about seeing this work.
It had the sense of endlessness that at times i have wanted to evoke in certain works... I guess it was less about the elk.
I'm still thinking about it!
NY...dont know where it will go... could find out I'm sure... Will ask if i remember!

em said...

s... it reminds me of other-worldly tumors... like a disease you could get if you went to another planet! in this vision, the elk would be struggling, but doomed.

Sophie Munns said...

Yes....i can see that too Em!
other-worldly is right!