“747” emailed us to say that we should institute a Quote Of The Week feature here at The Art Life and it seems like a good idea. We’ll get some people on to it. 747 says we should kick off with “The MCA Staff Show is like a roadie’s concert!” Yeah, funny.
If you came in late for that gag, it’s about the fact that some of the MCA staff have banded together and put on a show at First Draft . It’s a massive thing, taking up two galleries with 36 works ranging from videos and photography to some paintings, some sculptural object thingamajigs and a couple of lovely cyanotypes. The quality of the works range from the frankly bad to passable to a few that are really rather good.
The really rather good works would have to include Angela Grimsdale’s DVD Random Assortment which is a beautiful step printed video piece of what looks like black and white film transferred to video that features nothing more than film grain and lights whizzing past. It’s hypnotic and artfully considered and it’s good to see someone getting down to some radically minimalist video art.
Another stand out was Victoria Lawson’s large lambda print of a shot of a credenza in a hallway with a little painting high up on the wall above it. The work is called Antimacassar which refers to the doilies placed just so on the top of the credenza and it’s an odd picture, formal and elegant, with a hint of the documentary about it. Benison Kilby’s shots of the interiors of various leagues clubs are along similar lines and although printed way too small, they capture some of the graceful hideousness of coffee tables arranged around rain drop fountains and a suite of green chairs in a deserted dining room.
Nobody made a video called Shitty Rail and its worth a look. We know that’s a pretty weak encouragement for anyone to see the work at all, but the work demands – and gets – attention. In what appears to be a fake documentary, a bunch of ravers travelling from Marrickville Station into the city get busted by some (also fake) train guards. It’s not apparent whether the performance was for the benefit of the video or the passengers on the train, but the work, while having a lot of snotty chutzpah, is also a bit piss weak as well. Party Monsters these guys are not, but what the hell, we like raving at night, naked with a blue light.
The most alarming work in the show is Che Ritz’s collection of weapons that have been taken off MCA visitors. These are a collection of the nastiest shivs you’ll find this side of the exercise yard at Chino. We can only imagine what these serrated blades and shards of glass could do to the human body.