The Art Life always likes keep a keen eye on happenings in Melbourne but it’s a long way from home. We can’t be everywhere at once, but we did make a special effort to get to the launch of Melbourne’s answer to Primavera, NEW05.
An annual event held within the world’s greatest piece of architecture – the appropriately named The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) – NEW05 continues ACCA’s commitment to developing and encouraging artistic growth for younger Australian artists. This is something we feel is very important and seeing the work, we weren’t disappointed. Upon late entry due an irregular 6:30 timeslot, we were quickly surrounded by smartly dressed fashionista in the company of their current or potential dealers and gallerists. It was also pleasant to be thanked for coming as we were by the AACA artistic director and demigoddess Juliana Engberg. Not only did the warm reception make us feel at home, but the artworks were of the same high standard as found in many galleries around Sydney.
It seems that after three attempts at getting the formula right, über-curator Max Delany has finally hit the target with his selection of young artists. In his much loved ‘movie director’ style, Delany has utilised his years of knowledge as Director of Gertrude Contemporary Artists Space (or Gerty as the locals like to call it) to create the most solid collection of up-and-comers Melbourne has to offer.
The artworks were a delight to view which could be due to the colourful assemblage and hang of the show. The little known artist Destiny Deacon (with just a few shows to her credit) was particularly experimental with the choice of yellow lighting to enhance the already high quality of her video works. The videos were awash with a purity of spirit that made us ever more willing to stand through both in their exhaustive entirety. The images were buckling under the own intensity and wit and showed such budding promise that we’ll definitely be keeping watch on this young artist’s career.
Some of the other outstanding young Australian artists in the show were Mira Gojak with her exquisitely reconstituted indoor/outdoor furniture. Cost-conscious mums and dads will love the thought of going into Bunnings and making their own ‘Gojaks’. You only need the right parts. This is what real art is about, the generation of ideas for the common person! MutluCerkez had paintings on the walls that were so good they looked like photographs, and a Led Zeppelin print at the far end that listed a whole bunch of tour dates that the Dads once again had to memorise.
Videos are the big news at NEW05. Artists like videos and we like ‘em too. Along with Deacon’s endurance test, there were videos everywhere. In the room next to MultuCerkez there were a few more videos, but this time they looked like a more detailed and realistic model by Callum Morton but turned out to be the work of another young artist we’d never heard of – Kathy Temin. At first tense and disturbed that Tracey Emin had somehow been included, we relaxed as we viewed Temin’s precocious creation – a dolls house with little TV screens inside that made us watch and admire the work for longer. If only we could have been wee little people who could curl up inside that inviting miniature house where we could have rested and pondered the exciting things in store for these unknown and emerging artists. Unfortunately we had a few more important people to see and social whirls to be whirled and so waved goodbye to the nicely dressed door staff.