db, one of Sydney’s newest ARI’s has opened in Surry Hills. Located in the home of Christopher Hanrahan and Liz Reidy, even the toilet doubles as an exhibition space. Drop by now to see work by Ella Barclay.
Ella Barclay, db, 19 Phelps Street, Surry Hills, until 11 September.
The entry to jeweller Susan Cohn’s basement workshop on Flinders Lane, Melbourne, contains a small window. Within it, Cohn displays various objects – pieces of her own work, and the work of others.
At present, Workshop 3000’s window is stuffed full of harlequin-print plastic. This multi-coloured crush not only provides some respite from the grey uniformity of its surrounds, it also exists as a relic of a performance by video artists Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano. The plastic sheet was a prop in their new video work, Neon, currently on display at Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, and it is Cohn who has written a (forthcoming) text to accompany the exhibition.
Ian Burns works with non-traditional materials found on the streets, sourced online or from Ikea. Because of this, his sculptures initially seem jumbled, even trashy. For his first exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, the artist presents – among other things – TV’s strapped together and rammed into old wooden shelves, a busted up Venus/mannequin brandishing a surfboard and a plastic kiddies’ table pierced with brooms. Upon closer inspection however, the sculptures reveal their ingenuity. They’re incredibly clever.
Born in Australia, Burns now lives in New York, and his work offers humorous comment and subtle critiques of contemporary (popular) culture. Well Read (above) is the stand-out. With a wry nod to the cinematic tropes of the road movie, Burns conjures up associated feelings of freedom and nostalgia with the plainest of materials. A plastic convertible occupied by a Ken doll cruises along to a cheesy Time Bandits soundtrack. The car’s wheels rotate thanks to the automated turntable to which they’re connected. All this is captured on tiny cameras that produce a live feed of Ken’s flashy grin and automotive ECU’s enlivened by glittering reflections from a built-in rotating disco ball.
Burns’ sculptures are difficult to explain, the way in which they reveal themselves to the viewer is what makes them so fascinating and spending time with the works is a pleasing process of discovery. Leg of Lamb reckons this is the show of the year, so make sure you see it before it closes on Saturday.
Ian Burns, AND THEN…, Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, until August 28.
The artists shortlisted for the next Fourth Plinth Commission in London’s Trafalgar Square have submitted their maquettes to the Commissioning Group (that includes artist Grayson Perry and Ekow Eshun, Director of ICA). The successful submission will replace the current installation, ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’, by Yinka Shonibare next year. Leg of Lamb is rooting for the giant cock.