Some art in non-gallery exhibition locations work with the location and the alternative exhibition space successfully, others do not, and others have the poor locations forced on them. Traditional gallery methods of hanging art and even conventional gallery art will not work these locations. And, due to the mass public exposure of these spaces a successful exhibition has to appeal to a broader population than the art in most galleries. Many of these locations are ARI (artist-run-initiatives) whereas others are commissions for public art.
Lori Kirk’s “The Door Snake Project” at Platform is a fun work, involving 16 artists making snakes and using the glass cabinets at Platform to maximum effect. Kirk was the winner of the 2006 Freedman Foundation Traveling Scholarship. Kirk’s “fake replicas of natural environments” are the best part of the exhibition; the snakes by the individual artists vary in quality. Kirk has turned each of Platform’s cabinets into a terrarium for her fake snakes. Her creative use of fabric to replicate plants, stones and water makes the perfect environments for fabric door snakes.
Also at Platform, the Sample cabinet has an exhibition, “The Book of Proverbs” by Erica Tarquinio and Madeline Farrugia. Farrugia’s whimsical illustrations are well supported by Tarquinio’s collection of proverbs. However, the delicate installation is too small for the space in the cabinet.
Rachel Ang’s photography exhibition “Framed” does not use the glass letterbox spaces in the lobby at 141 Flinders Lane to any great effect. The quote from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window does alter the way that the mundane actions in the series of photographs is viewed but not enough to make it exciting. Frances Johnson in The Age (4/4/08) gave the exhibition a tiny but favourable review.
On the trains I saw a Peter Burke’s “Commuter News” poster. It isn’t as good as the real newsprint posters that Burke used to paste-up around the city. The poster version on the trains had been Photoshopped, the shadow effect is too obvious and it ends up looking just like more advertising. The location on the trains makes it hard for Burke’s poster to look like anything but clever advertising copy.