Tuesday, 25 October 2011

..and sees the last of the "Fringe"

Hello Possums,
a last rant about the Ballarat International PhotoBiennale "Fringe"...  

venue 52 was in an old renovated brewery in Buninyong  and although I'm almost a local it took some twenty minutes running around Buninyong before I found it.

As you can see it's a good clear space that would be an excellent proposition for people thinking about 2013.
the works on display were screen based DVD images from Japan titled Elegy Japan by Darron Davies of which I saw some  but was distracted ( it looked very interesting) by the other two presentations in the room.

Pam Kleeman's "A PrivateView: Skinned":  insallation pieces that made place-mats, handbags, wallets. hats etc from images of skin and hair that was purportedly about consumerism and cultural colonisation.
 I found the Dinner setting a rather thin take on Judy Chicago's grander sculptural work from the 80's because it tackles less with less ...as Chicago herself said, "...the women develop as artists, they build skills that are relevant to their content. Their work improves and they become more sophisticated, but that sophistication is built on a solid, personal foundation and is not the result of prevailing art modes" . ( Women Artists:  Peterson & Wilson, Harper/Colophon 1976)

What made me a little queasy with the handbags etc was the thought  that concentration camp guards during WW2 made similar objects from the cadavers of murdered Jewish inmates.... there was no mention of this in Kleeman's text .

 Konrad Winkler's "Love At First Sight"...only made me think, Why so grayly mis-named?
And......... Too Much Information!

I fled!

To the Ballarat Observatory where the map, again was not particularly helpful. But the works in the main were delightful.. Alex Cherney's celestial time-lapse images were hauntingly beautiful (sorry no images) and Julie Boland's "Visiting Diana" was a quietly evocative and feminine evocation of freindship ... lovely, lovely stuff.

As was Angie Turnbull's: shots on 10x8 plate, of film and reels, photographs of stock...'a la Bauhaus, Lazlo Moholy Nagy style.  Good puns all round. These two sets of work were really very impressive in their dignity toward both the subjects and the medium.

Although the venue was OK ..just... it was not an inviting place and I found I really had to concentrate hard on the works and not be distracted by light reflections and bumping into that monolithic telescope in the middle of the room.

Speaking of reflections ...cop this.....10:00am .....
not a good look for images... and weaving in and out of the tables( luckily all the guests had eaten and departed) was not comfortable at all.  

The nature of "Fringe" events is like this and it is the exhibitor who must make a conscious decision to present appropriately for the circumstances they have at hand.

Although, that being said there was one venue that really confused its exhibiting artists with its own wares....

...... but I'm pleased to report that Simon Peterswald did sell some stuff.... nice strong images.

Confusing as hell, that place... always asking yourself if it is an exhibit or part of the shops' stock......???

I think this has given a reasonable overview of the "Fringe" .... I'd  also comment that it was very funny to see so many people running around Ballarat with camera's on display for the month of the biennale.....and joyous that they came out in such numbers.... but even funnier to find stuff online..... one was a pic of one of the venues because the tog seems to like old architecture; he mentions the biennale was on at the time but none of either the core or fringe exhibits so I wonder if any thing impressed this teacher of photography at all?
A more ludicrous entry was from a Ballarat amateur who posted a journal note/survey on a particular site asking if anyone knew of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale?
OK, all you child psychologists.... work that one out!