Saturday, July 19, 2014
Mob rule - AGNSW Contemporary Projects.
What a pleasant surprise the contemporary project space at the AGNSW was on the latest visit (for the Archibald). I nearly didn't bother checking it out as we had the full complement of junior critics for this visit. One had just seen the Archibald and we were waiting for two others to finish the children's art workshop on the bottom floor so had some time to kill ...
Tony Garifalakis is a name I have read about, but I am not sure I've seen in the flesh. Or at least not enough to warrant a mention before. His work "investigates political, social and religious systems of belief while questioning mechanisms of surveillance, compliance and control", but I guess you could say that about anyone nowadays! Specifically for Mob Rule Tony is meant to be altering found images by censoring them a la the redacted copies you get from a government freedom of information request. That is, if the government in question redacted documents by using black spray paint. I think it is a very aesthetically pleasing result. The wet enamel paint runs down the subjects in a graffiti style, with the eyes mostly remaining visible. There are two different sets of images in this show. The first, running around three walls at eye level are portraits of world leaders Tony has ripped out of magazines (or offset lithograph images as I think the gallery labelled them). My favourite he was man of the moment Putin (above), he does look pretty evil. On the main wall were publicity type shots of various royals and military personnel that have received the same treatment. These are larger and from what I deduce, Tony has taken the image and then had c-type prints made which he has then 'censored'. My favourite here was probably Prince Harry, mainly due to his natty uniform (top image, bottom left).
Points: man of the match effort here from Tony, overall this show was much more impressive than the Sulman and quite a few of the Archibald entries. 3 points to Flash Harry, 2 to Putin and I'll give a point to one of the Queens - hopefully Liz.