Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Australian centre for photography visit - 11 January

ACP have two exhibitions running all the way through January.  The first one you will come across (in the lobby and in the front room) is called "Decline and Fall" which focuses on the work of Gerard O'Connor.  Out the back is "Sumptuary" which incorporates work of five separate artists in their own rooms. 

It's hard not to see Decline and Fall first, especially when you see the warning regarding nudity.  There were some interesting images here, all very heavily styled and photoshopped but I liked the composition of his wedding series best.  They didn't bring to mind the diverse traditions of William Hogarth's 18th century moral satires as the room notes suggested but did leave an impression on the viewer.

I preferred Sumptuary on the whole but the quality here was uneven, understandable given the different artists involved.  My favorite images were still lifes by Robyn Stacey which referenced luxury in the age of colonial Sydney.  Pictured above is Rouse and the Cumberland Plain which has introduced plants on the left gradually being replaced by native plants to the right.  I was looking forward to seeing Alexia Sinclair's room as I have been following her for a couple of years and saw this series being made on an episode of art nation last year.  Her work is called the Royal Dozen and features highly styled (again) portraits of historical figures.  I am not sure of the significance of the dozen and if I was curating her room probably would have made her choose her favourite six and just made those ones bigger (in photography bigger is usually better). 

First points for the 2011 season! 3 to Robyn Stacey, 2 to Alexia Sinclair, 1 Gerard O'Connor.

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