Saturday, November 08, 2008


From singles 2

It was another long weekend for me and I didn't have anything special planned. Saturday was hot and humid. Kevin had work to do and was planning on going into the city. So, I hitched a ride and spent the afternoon at the GOMA.

Now, I know what you are thinking. "Been there. Done that." But, with the exception of the fabulous red ringed infinity sculpture, I think everything was new. (New with still 25% of the gallery to be filled and opened- next week. "Contemporary Australia: Optimism" begins November 15.) And, it was pretty great. I was sorry I didn't have someone with me to knock an elbow in his side and say, "Cool."

The exhibition on the third floor- architecture of Brisbane - didn't do much for me. I walked through it and glanced at the photographs of glassy boxes that looked like they'd been stepped on so that the walls were askew and the lid slid off over the side. Very contemporary - which I might like in person or in smaller doses - but an entire room was to me "much of the same". I am impressed with the little models that architects make of their buildings.

From singles 2
From singles 2

In the gallery opposite, however, was FABULOUS. The gallery is bookended (??) with a giant woman in bed and a cardboard box arch. A significant proportion of the 2-D images were a bit macabre and I was really sorry Kevin wasn't there to see them: a graphic-novelesque series where Guatemalan "worry dolls" were fleeing from a murder scene- on the lam- and captured. A series of ghoulish beings combined with and pictured in situations more apropos to children's literature.

From singles 2

My favorite, however, was in the center of this gallery: a video installation of a dozen people- all equipped with a ear-phone listening to, dancing to, and singing along with Michael Jackson songs. Each person was projected as a life-sized image and the soundtrack of the piece was NOT Michael Jackson - but all their own singing and mumbling. I assume that everyone knew what he/she was going to be asked to do since several were dressed in M.J. appropriate attire... but there was also a belly dancer?? and two women who stood there expressionless with only the slightest movement to suggest they were experiencing anything rhythmic. You couldn't make out any single voice let alone match it to an image. And, as a group they were truly awful. It was mesmerizing and it really, really, really gave me a better appreciation for singers.

The third gallery had video images and while I found some of them interesting, my brain was probably too full to either remember or describe them well. But, as Arnold says,

"I'll be back."

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