Naima Morelli

South Yarra Opening Day

Dysfunctional Camouflage right lo res

I was ready to go to the beach, but then I came to know about this “South Yarra Opening Day” from the mother of my boyfriend, who invited me to the event on Facebook.
Actually the mother of my boyfriend, at sixty seems to have a life much more cool than me, in my twenties. So, if my boyfriend’s mother suggested me to go to the South Yarra Opening Day, I should go.
I unpacked my beach stuff and I made up my mind for an afternoon of contemporary art.

Four galleries within a four minute walk, under the hot Melbournian sun.
The first one I visited was called “Gould Galleries”, and the title of the exhibition was “Making Friends”. Even if I was a bit upset because I made no friends at this opening, I have to admit that the art itself was friendly. And visually attractive too.
The artist Troy Emery basically took some shapes of animals and covered them with colourful pon pons and other kinds of fabric filaments. So what happened was that the space of the gallery was crowded with rainbowed animals of which you can see only the fangs.
The artist was a big guy laughing gaily next to his painting series called “Black Hole”, namely very colourful vortexes that could teleport you, I guess, into his multicolour dimension.
The stockroom on the second floor and the well-dressed audience of professionals denounced the commercial attitude of the gallery.

The second exhibition was a collective exhibition of seven sculptors, further down on Toorak Road.
It was hosted by the “Mossgreen Gallery” and that sounded an even more commercial gallery than the first.
The title of the show was simply “Fine Australian Sculpture”, featuring a range of sellable sculptures as wide as possible.
From the fine reproduction of a complicated gear by Robert Klippel and the sculptural abstraction of Andrew Rogers, to the “Zarathustra” Hellenic-like bronze by Peter Schipperheyn, here you can find something for everyone’s tastes. Especially if you want a nice artwork to decorate your home. Which is a fair purpose anyway.

Leaving reluctantly the air conditioned gallery for the hot bitumen which paves Toorak Road, I turned into River Street.
After a little walk I faced the big building of the “Nellie Castan Gallery”. The exhibition was on the second floor.
Fancy people coming out from the door were foreshadowing the particular kind of exhibition I was going to join: the one where the folk are more interesting than the artworks.
As soon as I entered the showroom, I was greeted by the vision of a girl in a superhero full-body suits with stars on it.
Now it’s true that Melbournians are pretty crazy when comes to outfits. It’s also true that that was a contemporary art exhibition, and in the contemporary art world everything is allowed.
At the same time I couldn’t stop asking myself if that girl walked from her home to the exhibition in that suit, or if she changed clothes just in front of the gallery.
Maybe she used a phone booth, like all the superheroes, or maybe, in the era of cell phones, she came here concealed in a coat. You know what coat I’m talking about. The sort of coat that a sexual manic wears in the night, waiting for unaware people to show them their private parts. Well her superheroine powers in the case of the girl mentioned above.

Talking about the art, the paintings on the wall were just abstractions, egg shapes, wires and lines with a touch of urban. The artist was called Marc Freeman and the title of the exhibition “Gravitas Flow” . The title suggested a meditation of the artist on physics and that sort of stuff. Or maybe he was just inspired by his breakfast: eggs and bacon.
In next room of the same gallery there was also another exhibition by the photographer Drew Pettifer. The title was self explanatory: ”Androgyne”.
The only mild curiosity that this show inspired in me was if the models were true hermaphrodites or if they had had just their penises concealed in their legs. Anyway this question wasn’t pressing enough to make me look at the whole exhibition more than three seconds.
I was actually more interested in a gnawed countryman hat of a guy dressed like Tom Sawyer.

To get to the last exhibition I just looked around for a garage entrance. That was the actual access to the gallery space “Kalimanrawlins”. Struggling against the summer heat with the help of a bottle of beer, the public seemed more interested into experimental art than in commercial.
But that was just a first glace.
Beyond the appearance, the collective exhibition wasn’t exactly experimental, neither it was exactly unforgettable.
The paintings of Imogen Taylor were of a sort of futurist style a century later done by someone from Auckland.
His fellows James Deutscher and Christopher L.G. Hill in the next room were a little bit more interesting, even if not interesting enough.
James placed some mirrors shaped like woman hair or maybe leaves on the pavement.
Christopher pinned some sheets with what looked like free association poetry on the wall.

In the end I didn’t find the mother of my boyfriend at none of those exhibitions that she highly recommended me.
My boyfriend told me that she went to the beach that afternoon. I took a deep sigh.

220213113907_south-yarra-opening-day

Altar Piece 2013 (lr)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taylor_2013 11

Taylor_install_ 1_0

nelliecastanpettifer-untitled

nelliecastanfreeman_untitled