Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tony Albert - 'Projecting our future' at AGNSW (May-July)

So this is quite remiss of me.  I came to the opening artist talk for this back in May but am only posting now, and mainly just to let you all know you've only got until 7 July to get down to the contemporary project space at AGNSW to check out this massive Tony Albert installation called 'Projecting our future'. I think this is what the internet had in mind when it coined the term 'totes amazeballs'.

I had the opening for this locked in my diary for quite a while.  On top of the great artist chat on the day all the punters got to go over the buzzing gallery line and get a nice close up at the work. Trust me on this buzzing line thing, when I came back another day for a look see I set the sensors off (Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment I aint!).  This work is officially described as an "installation made of reworked objects, sculptures and paintings; original photographs, paintings and drawings and three unique artworks by Daniel Boyd, Dale Harding and TextaQueen, dimensions variable approx 280 x 1200 cm".  It is a collection of ephemera and Tony's own works from his archive that he has re-worked (or "intervened" with was the term they were using on the day).  It's no secret I am a big admirer of Tony's style, I too am an eBay tragic and it was reassuring to hear that despite Tony signalling that this was going to be his last big Aboriginalia (a term Tony has coined for kitschy Aboriginal themed Australiana) inspired piece he is still online fighting the good fight for the treasures that are out there. One of my favourite things about this show is that fact that the work was completed right at the last minute. The outcome of that is that the AGNSW brochure shows the work in progress (see picture below).  So you get to see the finished product and play the "spot the differences" game.  It was really interesting to hear Tony say that this work was meant to be more full of hope for the future than the previous works which were a bit more sorrowful.  In that regard he felt he needed to tone down some of the messaging in this work as it was being completed, one example I can see is that the map of Australia with the 'f*&k off we're full' has simply become a monochrome black (you can kind of make that out in the action photo below and then the detail from top).  I could never fit this in my home so if I were to cherry pick some items I would've taken the 'make decisions not reactions' plate (detail photo top) and the upcycled teaspoons (above) which I thought was a really neat idea that is about to get stolen by the Big Lamington household.  There was also a union jack type design on a yellow number plate which I thought would be a good flag - Tony can we make one of them?

Points - it's usually just a best on ground with a solo work by a single artist but there are some others lurking to the observant.  Naturally Tony will take the 3 points, its a really impressive installation.  I will give 2 points to Texta and the 1 to Daniel Boyd for their cameo appearances.  Nice touch.  Am really looking forward to see his next body of work at SSFA in August ...

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