Interest Free

Art Life , Exhibitions Sep 28, 2015 No Comments

From Stella Rosa McDonald

As I write, the façades of 555 West 24th St in New York’s Chelsea District and 15 Fowler St, Camperdown in Sydney’s inner west appear to be identical. The former address is the site of the Gagosian Gallery and is currently showing a full-scale replica of Roy Lichtenstein’s Greene Street Mural, while the latter is the site of artist run gallery Knulp which is currently showing Alex Gawronski’s Interest Free; a hand-made, to scale model of the facade of the Gagosian’s Chelsea gallery. In an otherwise unlikely association, the doors of one gallery circuitously lead to the other.

Interest Free 4 copy

However, where the Gagosian’s doors open to reveal the art inside, Gawronski’s doors are not functional and serve only to conceal the gallery’s office; the mechanisms behind the production and promotion of the art remain hidden. As an intervention in the gallery space, Interest Free is critical of the architecture of the art world, suggesting that it is the ‘look’ that counts. Between the plywood and Perspex replica doors Gawronski has jammed a Polaroid of the Gagosian’s façade. The Polaroid—a photographic process suggestive of an instant, of having ‘been there’ and particularly of the 1908s, a time when Gagosian really hit his stride —is actually photographed from a computer screen. The cheap little photograph of a screen-based image drives a wedge between the doors to draw attention to the gap between painting and sculpture, systems of exaggerated value and actual worth and finally between reality and its image. Gawronski’s Interest Free is anything but.

Until October 27
Knulp, Camperdown
Pic: Alex Gawronski, Interest Free (installation view), 2015, painted timber, Perspex, Polaroid. Image courtesy the artist.

Stella Rosa McDonald

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