Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Gallery hopping included as sport for London Olympics 2012

Leavening the dominant sports-centricity of the Commonwealth Games, the accompanying cultural festival held in Melbourne last month was brilliant. And the best part for laggards and procrastinators like me is that many of the cultural events have extended beyond the official ten days of the Games.

Thanks to the Commonwealth Games, I have made a start on my bid to learn crochet. The Buddy System, at ARC One Gallery in Flinders Lane, is a performative piece in which interested visitors are taught how to crochet a flower, which, when completed, is attached to a grid-lined wall, connecting it to others made before. At the completion of the project, the flowers will be sent to persons nominated by their makers, extending the gestures of teaching and making beyond the gallery walls. During my half-hour visit, I made a small flower, but I neither felt all that welcome nor did I find my teacher all that willing to teach. Demonstrating at full-speed (you do this, this and this) isn’t teaching. (Nor is taking the work from me and finishing it yourself.) In her defense, the day was hot and the gallery stifling. And, I guess, it must get tiring justifying your activity as art all day long. But I made a flower! So I left happy.

My next stop was a quick one to fortyfivedownstairs to visit the Ghanian fantasy coffins. Gracia mentions that Louise would like to be buried in a motorcycle-shaped coffin. Myself, I’m not so sure. An ampersand? A typewriter? A Fiat 500? (Personally, I don’t think a coffin in the shape of the object that may have led to your death is such a good idea. Unless, however, you need wheels in the afterlife.)

Next was Threading the Commonwealth at the RMIT Gallery. Particularly wonderful in my eyes were the Nigerian costumes and the accompanying photographs and video footage of the Yorubaland ritual performances. These strange costumes with their eyeless headgear disturb and fascinate me. One costume in particular was as foreboding as the others until up close I noticed it was pieced together with the most wonderful geometric and floral prints: prints that would make Denyse Schmidt swoon.

And the best for last: the Karachi tram. Gracia’s post reminded me of it, and I spent a fruitless hour criss-crossing the city trying to catch sight of it. Luckily, I caught it the next day and circled the city reveling in the cacophony. If I wasn’t so worried about exceeding my bandwidth, I’d post a very silly Quicktime movie of dancing passengers and smiling conductors. It made me long for a trip somewhere completely other, and sad that the most foreign place I’ve ever been is France. If you missed it, post a message here urging the city to bring it back. We need to be transported now and then.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That tram could transport you to any place you want...

4:56 AM  
Blogger Ampersand Duck said...

Hi Printgirl

I'm so glad you found me and I'm very glad to have found you. I'm wishing you all best luck with your studio dramas, and jealous that you have the ability to set up your own studio!

Not a knitter, but only because I stress out my fingers enough picking through type :)

I'll keep an eye on your progression!

9:03 PM  
Blogger kath red said...

the buddy system looks really interesting

11:29 AM  

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