19 June 2006

Open Season

This weekend's addition to the social calendar was the opening of City Gallery's winter season on Saturday night. As far as they go it was a good opening - speeches were interesting and relatively brief (due possibly to the absence of both the Gallery Director and Mayor). City do a fun thing of withholding wine, food, and art until after the speeches. I guess that works for them, but creates a hell of a bottleneck, in what is a tight space anyway.

The shows offer an interesting mix of old, new, borrowed, but not much blue. Guy Ngan is the standout for me, even if it is a sort of Retrospective Lite. I can see one of his big public sculptures from my office.

And I liked the 2x2 format. But am I being too demanding in wanting more from my gallery (I am a ratepayer now) than just some paintings/photos on a wall. I want curation, dammit, if only to answer a niggling question of what City's staff actually do all day. I want to leave with questions. And answers (but to other questions - not the ones I'm also coming out with). The Ngan show did that, as did the reliably provocative show at Hirschfield. But the others? Not so much.

And I still maintain Elizabeth Thomson's work sits more at the craft end of the spectrum than contemporary art. But well done that Mark Hutchins for getting yet another of his artists into City - it's almost enough to warrant a call of shenannigans.

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