Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Containing Civilian Movement

AA
View Discussion
Danae Stratou's The Globalising Wall at Mangere Arts Centre Nga Tohu o Uenuku. Photo: Sam Hartnett. Danae Stratou's The Globalising Wall at Mangere Arts Centre Nga Tohu o Uenuku. Photo: Sam Hartnett. Danae Stratou's The Globalising Wall at Mangere Arts Centre Nga Tohu o Uenuku. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

What is interesting is that by themselves many of these images would not hold your attention, being akin to a Magnum form of photojournalism and a bit too obvious. It is the contextual juxtapositioning within the sequencing that makes the work successful, not the individual shots, and the fact that each new image follows a moving vertical line that sweeps from left to right.

Mangere

 

Danae Stratou
The Globalising Wall

 

24 November 2012 - 7 February 2013

 

Danae Stratou‘s installation in Mangere is a section of isolated gallery wall, a dark slab serving as a partition - by itself (unattached to any planar extensions) on the gallery floor. On one side is projected a slide sequence of her photographic images (with an accompanying soundtrack) examining globally the physical / psychological brutality of political divisions, focussing on many varieties of barrier (a range of materials) - and seven locally disrupted political situations - and on the other is presented an evocative text by her partner, economist Yanis Varoufakis. Here is an earlier version.

Stratou’s sequence blends many barriers into one, a serpentine ribbon that seems to continually weave its way across the globe, linking in the viewer’s imagination Palestine with Mexico, Kosovo with Northern Ireland. The surface of this impedance is often covered with graffiti, slogans, murals or wooden crosses and flowers commemorating those who have died attempting to climb over it.

What is interesting is that by themselves many of these images would not hold your attention, being akin to a Magnum form of photojournalism and a bit too obvious. It is the contextual juxtapositioning within the sequencing that makes the work successful, not the individual shots, and the fact that each new image follows a moving vertical line that sweeps from left to right. Despite this ordinariness, even occasional corniness (especially those of cute smiling children) they lift the mood of the theme, reaching a more positive note than what would otherwise be possible. Surprisingly it is not unrelentingly depressing. More matter-of-fact.

With the freestanding partition, the low horizontal text listing the documented sites of divided communities extends like a winding band, passing along underneath the moving slide sequence, and wrapping itself around the corner to carry on around the back. This is obviously an ironic reference to the absolute impassibility of the documented barriers, the finality of them as material obstacles, for the gallery slab is positioned not in the centre of the floor but near the other walls. You have to be really curious (and hopefully you will be) to bother looking behind and discovering Varaufakis’ written contribution - to exploit the bodily freedom the individuals in the photographs are denied.

The appeal of this show lies in the synthesis of immersive sound and image, particularly the rhythm of the loading slides, the way the successive rectangular shots arrive and disappear, the repeated movement of the righthand photographic edge. No one border image is especially memorable, just the overwhelmingly grim theme of negotiated civilian containment and all-pervasive, crushing military power.

In this exhibition are also works by Alex Monteith and Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh, but as I’d rather discuss them separately - will post something shortly.

John Hurrell

 

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Tiffany Singh 's Collaboration is the Future as installed at Melanie Roger.

Singh at Roger

MELANIE ROGER GALLERY

Auckland

 

Tiffany Singh
Collaboration is the Future

 

31 January - 24 February 2018

JH
Role models, curated by Rob McKenzie, as installed at Hopkinson Mossman

Unpicking Identity

HOPKINSON MOSSMAN

Auckland

 

Robert Bittenbender, Ellen Cantor, Jennifer McCamley, Josef Strau
Role Models


26 January - 24 February 2018

JH
Gary Peters, A Slow Take, 2017 (installation view) commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett

Two Site-Specific Paintings

TE TUHI CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Pakuranga

 

Gary Peters
A Slow Take

 

18 November 2017 - 25 February 2018

JH
Installation at Te Tuhi of Shannon Te Ao's With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Shannon Te Ao at Te Tuhi

TE TUHI CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Pakuranga

 

Shannon Te Ao
With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods


18 November 2017 - 25 February 2018