I have just returned from a glorious weekend in Sydney. Well, glorious for the people and things I saw … the weather was cold and wet and so unlike Summer. The main purpose of the trip was see Dead Can Dance perform at the Sydney Opera House on the Sunday night. DCD are essentially two people; Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. They have been working together for nearly 30 years with their first release coming in 1984 and their latest work Anastasis released last year. The performance was outstanding and supported by another 5 musicians. If you’re unfamiliar with their work and you have 6 minutes of guaranteed ‘alone-time’ click here. There’s no ‘clip’ with this one … just a visual of the cover art for the album The Serpents Egg. The track was also featured on the Baraka Soundtrack. They performed this last night about half way through their set and I wept … this piece always moves me and hearing it live has now somehow made my life more complete.
Anyways, I digress! I also saw the Anish Kapoor show at the Museum of Contemporary Art down on Circular Quay. This show is his first for Australia and didn’t disappoint. There are many visually challenging pieces in the show and the scale of some is quite breathtaking. Like, for example My Red Homeland (below). From the catalog;
My Red Homeland is a monumental wax sculpture that consists of 25 tons of paraffin wax mixed with a deep red pigment. In this enormous circular sculpture, a large motorised steel blade slowly traces the circumference of the structure, which measures 12 metres in diameter. Each rotation of the blade takes about one hour, as it cuts a course through the wax, dissecting and reshaping it into endless new forms.
I know … to make this work, I think we need some wax … how about 25 tons of wax! And I want it red, blood red, so when it’s cut and churned it resembles meat … yes … like that, flesh. Visceral, cut, shaped and continually reworked (once an hour) … quite brilliant really.
The scale alone is enough to grab you in.
I went up to Sydney with my good friend David and his wife Thao. David’s a huge DCD fan and he drove us all up to Sydney for our weekend of culture. Here he is in the picture below photographing Kapoor’s Memory, a 24 ton hollow steel construction that required the roof to be temporarily removed to lower it into its install space.
Now, apart from these rather colossal installations, there are a lot of pieces that sincerely mess with your visual perceptions of the space you find yourself. Kapoor uses non-reflective pigments in a number of pieces which really works to mess with you perception … I didn’t take any pictures of those … it would have been pointless really … you have stand in front of it and experience them yourself … sorry about that.
I did take a picture of When I was Pregnant (below)
Oh and there was a whole room of very shiny S-curves and C-curves all incredibly polished that served to reflect and cross-reflect the room and the people in it in a myriad different ways. I spoke to one of the assistants who explained to me that the artist has a team of specialist polishers flown over from New York specifically to polish these installations … the polishing took nine days for the MCA show. They did a bloody good job!
I really enjoyed this show by Anish Kapoor. It runs until the 13th of April 2013.
How’s about you? Been to visit any particularly fine art recently.