Thursday, May 13, 2010

Object Theory - 10 Sydney Biennale Cockatoo Island

And the first thing we saw was a black and white jumping castle, which we jumped on.


Catching the 11am ferry over, we only had an hour before the next one departed at 12.30, to get back to our next class in time. Engrossed in "the feast of trimalchio" I checked my watch a minute past the ferry leaving. Despite my extra hour I still did not see half the work on fact I think I only saw 8. . A half day at least would be needed I think.

Clare's questions this week were: Pick a work that you can identify with your own. Describe it, interpret it, talk about the similarities or links in themes.

mmmm...I suppose..on reflection that Brodie Ellis' work "Umbra: Penumbra: Antumbra" explores similar themes to my own..though I did not pay as much attention to this work that I did to others like "Ping Pong" by Adel Abidin.

Brodie Ellis.  "Umbra: Penumbra: Antumbra"  2010.

Walking through a small curtained door, a cavernous dark space meets you...the high roof may capture your attention before either video projection. Light mistily swirls on the floor, an effect that is revealed as the filmed eclipse whilst on the far wall, portraits and close ups of nature and industry are projected also within a circle. As your eyes adjust to the light levels a large sculpture becomes apparent between the two projections. This cubular metal fabricated cone looms above you and one could be forgiven in thinking that it was left over mechanism from the Cockatoo Island docklands.

The programme talks of the work as having a  "result [that] is an immersive and intense experience of the power of nature". I would have to go back and spend more time in the space to work out if I agreed or not. As it is I walked out reasonably the blurb, walked back in..a few things made more sense (the misty patch on the floor became the eclipse) and carried on to the next building.

I felt perhaps that the sculpture was optically channelling the two projections, one that seems tranquil the other strident. An eclipse is a powerful event. In the past it was perhaps a sign from the gods, we may not believe this now but it is still a global event news wise with people in the area turning out to witness the phenomena. The first image I saw on the wall were tree tops being pushed and riffled in a strong wind, the next one a fast flowing river. Many of the images showed some of natures powerful forces in a seemingly un biased way. I think it was that strength that was being focused upon. Don't forget.

"Mother Nature"..who came up with that name? Is nature mothering? Perhaps it is more comforting to think of the natural world this way. I like to explore the natural amoral instincts of insects and plants, the need to survive..and how people with their moral values respond to some of those behaviours. I think the themes of nature as untamed and powerful are common in our works.

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