Saturday, August 16, 2014

Venereal Architecture at Roslyn Oxley - 16 August

Hands up who wants to see some Lego® animals?  Thought so.  Full complement of my junior critics along for the gallery jaunt today plus a couple of nieces and nephews to inspect the creations of Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro.  With five junior critics aged 6 and under the standard warnings were emphasised: no touching, no running and no yelling. Waivers signed lets go see the show ...

I am going to open by stating the obvious.  This is a very family friendly show that is open for another two weekends.  Definitely get down and check it out.  The second point I will make is that I know Lego® is a pretty expensive toy, certainly if you see what Santa is bringing the Big Lamington HQ this Chrissy.  But I wasn't really expecting the sticker shock of this show, probably a price rise in the move from Gallery Barry Keldoulis to Roslyn Oxley.  Now I did wonder about why they teamed the Lego® sculptures with ikea furniture.  I know they've used both in the past, the ikea with dinosaur and the lego space shuttle portraits at their MCA retrospective.  But as was pointed out to me, at these prices they might've sprung for some decent furniture! Thankfully a pretty decent artist statement accompanied the exhibit:

"they are both objects of aspiration that require assembly. Lego, which we grew up with, represents the dreams and fantasies of a child; Ikea furniture, which has become so ubiquitous, represents the dreams and fantasies of an adult. By meshing these two objects together we can think about the gap between our fantastic dreams and our banal longings. Both products represent destruction and re-construction, which are concerns we revisit continually within our practice."

This is where they should've stopped.  After this the artists went on to compare a trip to ikea being all about sex.  Um, not really.  I try to avoid ikea like the plague, and I think most people popping in to Roslyn Oxley on a weekend wouldn't even know where the closest ikea is (and would be proud of the fact).  This sex thing is where the show got a little disjointed for me, as around on the walls were these Lego® brick portraits of porno screenshots of films where ikea furniture was used on the set.  Again, not being convinced of the original link, these works seem very out of place.  Thankfully they are not explicit and whilst I suspected it at the time you wouldn't notice from looking at them, and the junior critics didn't give the portraits a second glance.  Neither should you, the big stars are the animals.  Lions, deer, monkeys, penguins, snakes, sharks all imprisoned within a piece of ikea furniture.  I am not sure they made me think about the gap between fantastic dreams and banal longings but I did hear a lot of "wow", "cool", "awesome" and "hey daddy, take a photo of me in front of this".  And that is a good review in anyone's book.

Points: full participation on the points today.  My favourite was the deer, 3 points to the 8 pointed buck (top).  Most popular amongst the junior critics was the Lion (pictured middle), 2 points.  Another crowd favourite was the Manta Ray (above).  This will pick up the 1 point.  The final observation was that the kids were pretty impressed these were done without instructions.  Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro - master builders!

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