Saturday, October 18, 2008

The C word - Collaboration that is!

I just spent the last 2 days at a NETS symposium with the title "The C word - Curators and Collaboration", or something like that!

It's always nice to get out of the office and catch up with colleagues, many from rural galleries and talk about what we've been doing and what exhibitions we have coming up. In reality most of the work usually happens over coffee or later at the bar, when we come to the realization that we all come across the same situations.

This year's symposium was interesting as we had lots of speakers from the Melbourne International Arts Festival. This is always a great opportunity to hear direct from artists, many who are international that we never get to hear from.

One of the speaker highlights for me was Chris Doyle who has created a film work/projection/installation outside the National Gallery of Victoria. I get what he does, he is a fantastic speaker and I'm familiar with some of his work in New York which helps when you know what people are talking about!

At the end of the second day we went on a bit of a gallery tour to catch up on some of the shows that speakers had spoken about, but also just to take time out to see what's going on. We all get so busy that often we don't get an afternoon to see stuff!

Some of the exhibitions that I saw were:
correspondences: vĂ­ctor erice and abbas kiarostami
which is on at show at ACMI. This would have to be one of the best installed and most poetic and touching exhibitions I've seen at ACMI. I'd definitely suggest catching it before it ends in early November. I loved the way that it had been set up with the gallery space being divided into 2 with one side for each film maker/artist and their collaborative work at the end, so you could enter from either side.

Lynette Wallworth

I then went to the Evolution of Fearlessness by artist Lynette Wallworth, here as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Lynette had spoken at the symposium and her discussion of the work made most of it want to go and see it. It's an interactive piece in a dark room where who are invited to walk up some steps, and put your hand on a small pulse of light. When you do this, a woman emerges from the dark, places her hand on yours and stars into your eyes. Nothing is said, and nothing needs to be said. It's incredibly moving in a way you can't describe. The 11 women's stories are also captured in a book in the room that you can read also. I'm always amazed at this type of interactive works that rely on the viewer to take part for the work to be created - the image of the woman won't appear until you put your hand there, it's just a small pulse of light in a black room - amazing work.

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