The Ian Potter Museum of Art has a survey exhibition of Dale Hickey and The Vizard Foundation Art Collection of 1990s. The State Library of Victoria has an exhibition that they call “the Medieval Imagination” even though most of the manuscripts on display were from the Renaissance. I saw all of these exhibitions but I’m sure that they will be reviewed elsewhere in the arts media. All of these exhibitions were looking back, but this review will look to the future. And at exhibition that are unlikely to be reviewed elsewhere, not because of a lack of quality but a lack of marketing budget.
Brunswick Arts is exhibiting Launch, by recent fine arts graduates, an impressive contemporary group exhibition. The exhibition is dominated by Will MacDonald’s sound installation, Close to the Edit. It is an awesome but subtle sound, a complex drone or a didgeridoo like a LaMonte Young composition, hard to tell with all the distortion. And it has been installed in an intriguing way; I wanted to look into the steel garbage bin, just to see. By placing containers of water on the speakers the sound waves are translated into ripples on the surface of the water. These ripples are extraordinarily beautiful, transient, chaotic forms. And the vibrations of the containers add too and distort the sound.
The other work ranges from the mystical beauty of Monika Andrew Poray’s meditations, in a number of different media, on a pot plant. To the disgusting, but intriguing, work of Amanda Jean Filleul who has made a dinner set of “regurgitated bread” along with a video of her chewing the bread. There is the curious miniature world of Julie Skeggs’s installation and photographs. Masha Makarova was exhibiting spiky bronze and steel sculptures and quirky cast sugar sculptures elegantly placed on a mirror.
And at the LaTrobe Street Gallery, the shopfront part of the LaTrobe College of Art & Design, Jim Hart is showing “No User-Serviceable Parts Inside – exhibits from the Museum of Electrical Philosophy”. This is a gallery exhibition of quirky kinetic sculptures that Jim Hart has been showing in his Museum of Electrical Philosophy, a small window in the door to Room 603 in the Nicholas Building.
Face Crumpets Inward, a toaster with a knife and fork going in and out of it, has the instant humour of danger. Some of the sculptures, the whirling dervishes especially, reminded me of kinetic sculptures by Len Lye and Pol Bury, the masters of kinetic art. But Jim Hart’s sense of humour and knowledge of science gives his kinetic sculpture additional qualities.