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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.36.42 am

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.


Riverofthe.net – Online Art Review

By Maddy Plimmer


Before there was Vine, there was Riverofthe.net. Launched in 2010 by video artist Ryan Trecartin and founder of Tumblr David Karp, the website consists of 10 second videos that occupy the entire Internet window. The videos are collection of Ryan Trecartin’s own work, videos found on the web and videos uploaded by visitors to the site. This is similar to the format of the popular video sharing cell phone app “Vine,” in which users upload 7 second videos to be viewed by their followers and those watching on the website www.vpeeker.com.

It is interesting to see how the short time frame allocated for the videos on both Vine and Riverofthe.net, has been used in such different ways. Videos uploaded via Vine, are often fast paced. The 7 seconds are filled with quick cuts and several short scenes in order to allow for a brief dialogue. They seem to all subscribe to a mutual unwritten goal of including as many quick scenes of humorous dialogue as possible, and certainly follow a sequential order with a set-up and punch line.

Following suit from Trecartin’s example, the user-contributed videos on Riverofthe.net are far more nonsensical, and slow paced than how people approached Vine. They don’t attempt to tackle more than one shot, scene or idea; rather one finished or repetitive movement occupies the full 10 seconds. All the videos are very disparate in tone and content, so the way they are played in a random order definitely mimics a sort of mash-up of everything that can be experienced on the Internet. I really enjoy the way Ryan Trecartin’s work is shown in amongst found and donated video. He lets his work be surrounded by the culture it is referencing, and influenced by, such as b-grade omegle footage, and a middle-aged man dancing alone to techno music. This idea of accessible technology, and average quality is present throughout all the works, even Trecartin’s films, and it’s nice to see the purposeful low quality of his work, played along side unintentional low quality works. In a way, Trecartin and Karp have set up a mode for exhibiting his work in a way that allows it to be in very direct conversation with the culture surrounding it. It’s like a more isolated, and regulated version of Youtube.com, another site where Trecartin often displays his works, except the user is shown works without choice of what they are shown. This is something that brings the site closer to a form of exhibition, as the audience does not select what they watch and when, like on Youtube.com. Like the Internet itself, Riverofthe.net is a collaborative montage of a variety of content, ever changing and growing.

INFLECTED FORMS by Shaun Gladwell – Art Review


By Kerry Males

Shaun Gladwell is an Australian born artist and skateboarder. Gladwell primarily works in digital art and describes his video works as performance landscapes , Gladwell also works in  painting , photography  and sculpture. His works are usually influenced by a site and the ways that inhabitants form relationships with environments. Gladwell is well-known for his video work Storm Sequence, that sold for $84,000. Inflected Forms is a series of interactive public art sculptures that are based in Christchurch. The works are a series of large grey metal objects that are similar looking to skateboarding ramps, the sculptures are functional and are site based. The metal objects are a platform for a skateboarders urban innovation or adaptions. All the sculptures have been divided with a large split through the centre of them, which is a reference to the surrounding site that has been damaged by the Christchurch earthquake.

Gladwell states he is interested in the ways the public will react to the sculptures and how they will be treated. Inflected Forms was strongly influenced by a short five minute skateboarding film called Quaked, a film that was made by local skateboarders in Christchurch soon after the earthquake hit.  Gladwell says he was intrigued by the way that the  local skateboarders adapted to a new environment so quickly and how they reacted to the new broken forms.I found Gladwell’s work interesting because Gladwell thinks of public art forms as forms to be skated , and I feel that is more of a skateboarders frame of mind rather than an artist critiquing other artists art. However I do feel that Gladwell’s thinking towards public art does complement Inflected forms  in a sense that a skateboarding community will interact to urban environments whether they are meant to be skated or not.

What is Live Art? by Julian Sofaer – Art Review

By Callum Devlin

28 August, 2002

In the video a man steps swiftly from the side of the frame directly into a close-up.

“What is live art?” he says. The camera zooms out slowly, revealing a crowded footpath of pedestrians floating by. The man speaks directly into the camera, with the articulate air of a broadcast journalist. “Well,” he continues, “at its most fundamental, Live Art is when an artist chooses to make work directly in front of the audience in space and time. So instead of making an object, or an environment and leaving it for the audience to encounter in their own time, Live Art comes into being at the actual moment of encounter between artist and spectator.”

He is speaking to the camera, to the audience, but he is performing for the crowd around him. People stop, stare at the camera and at the man. He is a spectacle, a curiosity, but not un unfamiliar one. The image of a journalist performing their to-camera monologue in the public is a well-worn trope. It instantly connects the content of the story directly to the city, to the people they are speaking about, and that their story seems to be affecting. But the curiosity of the crowd around him is electric, overly so. The content of his monologue directly matches the form that it is taking. Moreover, the content is echoed in the reaction of the crowd around him, creating a feedback loop that builds between the two.

The punchline is the hole in his pants, revealed as he turns on his heel at the end of his speech. A perfect circle exposing his ass to the world, visible for a moment before he disappears into the crowd. Instantly the speech is recontextualised, and a second viewing is called for, as you are now “in” on the joke.

The video is a curious statement. Initially it serves as a clear description of an art movement, it’s history and priorities. The text itself is cohesive, entertaining, and informative, while the performance slick and assertive. However, in it’s form as a video, it seems to initially contradict the art movement that it seems to be a part of. Live Art is defined as taking place in the moment of creation, between the viewer and the audience. The video acts as a permanent ghost of the initial performance.


Work&Play: Confession Ritual – Exhibition Review

22 March 2014, Dowling Street Project Space

by Judith Yeh

It is significant how the long history of art has developed into this 21st Century movement called “contemporary art”. The spectrum of this significance covers a wide range of various expressions, sometimes the definition of what constitute as an art form becomes obscure. How does one define an exhibition? Does an exhibition only limit to inhabitation of physical objects? I question myself as I stand before a mad and emotional Korean man ritualistically scrawling toothpaste all over a mirror.

Throughout the series of Work&Play, which consist of fifteen performances over two weeks, and across four different locations; Confession Ritual is, without a doubt, the most intense and emotional one out of all. Although the title may have already suggested that this isn’t going to be some self-indulgent, paint splattering musical dance number, it has not prepared one to be so directly confronted with the artist’s immense agony and excruciation. Samin Son’s practice is largely formed by his experience in the two-year compulsory military service in South Korea. He draws upon the endurance and the meticulously directed aggression demanded by the mundane military life, as well as his struggles with identity and race politics. This piece, which sees him enter and circles the room while intoning some unrecognised phrase, is enchanting, displacing and confrontational. One moment he is tying select people together with one of those everlasting public toilet hand towels, forming a defined space to accentuate displacement and uniformity; then he is coming up to each individual, staring into their eyes and commanding them, shrinking the audience in size and individuality. While these actions already put members of the audience on edge, Son takes it to another level by repetitively and laboriously cleaning the mirror with toothpaste, scribbling with it and wiping it off again. The intensity leaves the audience stuck fast, petrified and fascinated.

An art form is the way of expressing one’s emotions. If comparing Son’s display of performance to that of a painting; his movements as the brushes and strokes, and the space as a blank canvas, what really is the difference between Son’s “exhibition” to an “expressionist exhibition” or perhaps an “abstract expressionist exhibition”? It is safe to say, that Son’s style of expressionism has most definitely become one of the most memorable exhibitions I have seen so far.
Video shown is part of Samin Son’s “Toothpaste Action #10”, at DEPOPULATE 01 presented by White Fungus.