Bouquet III – Exhibition Review

By Louisa Beatty

Title: ‘Bouquet III’

Artist: De Rijke/ De Rooij

Venue: Sydney Biennale

Date: 2012

‘Bouquet III’ is the third sculpture in a series of bouquet’s arranged by collaborators De Rijke/ De Rooji. The sculpture is a live flower arrangement consisting of various native Australian flora, presented in a traditional style of vase, standing alone on a conventional plinth.

Aside from being so aesthetically drawn to the idea of a bouquet- so beautiful and so obvious, elegant, tacky, complicated and socially loaded- I more so gravitated to the projects on going form of documentation and recreation. The collaborative duo continuing their ‘Bouquet’ series each time employing written language as their form of sculptural documentation. Once initially made and exhibited the original ‘Bouquet’ exists only on paper through a detailed 360 degree description facilitating future constructions.

This process of documentation paired with the use of native and/or accessible, ephemeral materials allows for a shift in the treatment, placement and physical content of each ‘Bouquet’. The sculpture then both speaking specifically to site/location/country as well as the poetic, romantic notions of translation and personal interpretation.

The series grows and shifts as the artist’s adjust to each others language as well as placement. The piece becomes a romantic narrative of the two artist’s understanding and communication whilst remaining an accessible artwork to it’s spectators – reaching to them through localised material.

To me the work is a seriously cute echo of the societal associations placed on the object, the bouquet -just something to be looked at yet maybe the recognition of feelings or a thank you or death.

Being that there are no photographs of ‘Bouquet III’ -obviously- I became aware of this work through the informative DVD provided with the ‘On Emotions and Reason’ Book where the two artists spoke together about their project.

So technically this is just another interpretation/translation/description of the work

flowers ❤


Hallway by Polly Stanton – Art Review

By Louisa Beatty

Video Artist Polly Stanton’s ‘Hallway’, is a 2 minute 30 second long slow zoom video. The entirety of the work consists of a slow moving zoom from one end of the hallway to the empty back room of a seemingly abandoned house. Almost unnoticeable as the work begins, a low drone of audio escalates in unison with the cameras movement, building up as the camera finally approaches the edge of the doors frame and cut.

The screen is black in an empty and echoing (and bizarrely satisfying?) anticlimax.

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Presented in the gallery context of ‘Blue Oyster Project Space’ the work is projected to fit the size of the rooms back wall in an immersive allusion to cinematic production. However -not attending the original viewing- stanton’s work was directly presented to me online through a series of stills from the work as a representation of the zooms progression. If it wasn’t for the shots interesting composition I would have never investigated the work further (in terms of finding research/artists creating durational works), the fast forwarded photo progression documented conceptually seeming to undermine the very real tension Stanton creates through time manipulation. But they are still beautiful tense images… I’m not sure

[How am I supposed to document durational art?

maybe I could just present the exact same still over and over?]

Never the less, Stanton’s play on cinematic suspense results in the ultimate anti climax, shifting the weight of the work from subject to viewer. The durational emphasis on suspense and expectation forcing overall self awareness and bodily reactions from the audience. I’m interested in the almost therapeutic process of acceptance and deepened understanding when an audience becomes forced into durational engagements with ‘disengaging’ works.