‘The Lies of Light’, curated by Pandarosa
MADA Gallery, Monash University, Caulfield; 28 August – 25 September 2013
Fragmentation and composition form a dancing duet to a soundtrack of playful deviancy in this carefully crafted show by Ariel Aguilera and Andrea Benyi (also known as art-design duo Pandarosa). The manifestation of the drip appears frequently – in fire extinguisher sprays, the overlay of centralised brushstrokes and the cursor sweep of software manipulations. The artworks themselves are treated with the utmost respect in the curation, with sufficient space between each piece to allow individual contemplation and a selection of works that ensures a consistency of relation across the two galleries.
The curatorial design cleverly addresses an age-old concern about the labelling of artworks by discretely locating information on the floor, in neatly-printed white vinyl-cut lettering. Numbering systems and wall labels have become points of contention for galleries, curators, artists and audiences as each tries to counter the need for information with the potential impact of visual interference with the work. The design acuity extends to the entrance-ways of the double gallery space, with colourful geometrical shapes on glass walls subtly emphasising the perforation of the membrane between inside and outside. Bodies may not pass through these walls, but light most certainly will. The gallery becomes a filter, catching and refracting the ephemeral ideas that float free in the broader environment.
Ash Keating takes centre stage, his work Concrete Propositions unravelled across both galleries as large-scale video projection and photography. Forever dancing his way around the industrialising outer-burbs in loops and heroic poise, flinging colours like a hooded monk trapped within the circularity of cameras that incessantly try to lock him down on screen and paper. Stefano Andrea Pedrini’s large painting, Somewhere in the Twentieth Century (2012) sits like a mystical portal, pulsating in energy waves that surge and pull. It’s a semi-psychedelic nod to the sunray as life force, rendered in lined brushstrokes that offer a retina bath for the eyeballs.
Ry David Bradley paints with a computer cursor, turning fashion photography, graphic design and media promotion into blurred overlays of tweaked dysmorphia. Everything is manipulated so why pretend? Clarity is laughed at, smeared like finger-paint and then repackaged with the utmost precision – aluminium panels perfectly propped on plinths. In Rachel de Joonge’s work the digital manipulation becomes the plinth. Photographs of human skin and body parts are overlaid on top of each other in a jumble of ears, navels, palms and chests, completely covering a monolithic rectangular form. Sitting on a white plinth under harsh spotlight, at bodily scale and perfectly angled, yet wearing the imperfections of the sexualised human body on its sleeve in the obliqueness of its collage technique. A model of perfect imperfection, where boxed expectations destroy our humanity.
A well-crafted exhibition and well worth a look. Runs until 25 September.