Saturday, December 1, 2012

Archie Moore at The Commercial - 1 December

Hot one today so I enjoyed the aircon on my way over to The Commercial.  This was my first visit and for some reason I can't stop singing the chorus to that 80s song 'feels like the first time'.  Anyway, the team behind The Commercial were really nice and it was a really enjoyable visit, especially 'for the very first time'.  Sorry.

I had read about this show on tweeter of all things (which I do suggest you get by the way, and follow me of course, and separately also follow Michael Reid because he is a really interesting character and you get art and all sorts stuff, I see a twitter post coming in Dec/Jan).  This was the last day of Archie Moore's Flag's, and given that December 1st is West Papua Independence Day (where they raise the morning star flag in defiance of Indonesian rule) I thought it an appropriate show to visit.  Archie has produced 10 different versions of the Aboriginal flag (see above for the gallery shot).  They are 'acrylic on nothing' in that he paints them on a rubber mat and then peels away the rubber to just leave the paint that has dried together.  I thought these would be quite brittle but if you ask nicely you can have a touch and they are very soft and move like a vinyl banner.  There is a real mix between the more overt political flags (like the hammer & sickle and the swastika flags) and the more social progressive flags (like the heart and the peace sign).  They were also great value at $2k a throw.  Unfortunately for me I was too late and the National Gallery had picked up three works (the most political ones) and another institution had also picked up a brace.  I think the only one still available was the rainbow which I could understand as the red / yellow / black is a really strong colour combo and the rainbow didn't really appear vibrant against the background. I really liked this show, but then again I am a bit of a vexillological geek (flagpole coming soon!) and was impressed at the re-imagining of such a recognisable standard.

Points:  3 to Aboriginal Heart (pictured top).  2 points to Aboriginal Deadly (pictured above).  I only learnt about the phrase 'Be Deadly' from the Tony Albert poster and now I know there is a flag as well and it does look deadly!  1 to Aboriginal Peace.  I think Archie just put himself on the Big Lamington wish list for 2013, especially if he does some cotton flags which I think pose less conservational issues than painting on nothing.

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