Seventh Gallery Revisited
Words By Nick Tapscott Photos by Andy Donohoe
Nick Chilvers - Drawing Stories, Jenny Zhe Chang - Détente Harmonization, Lucina Lane - Storage until June 16th at Seventh Gallery, 155 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
Seventh Gallery is squeezed tightly into Gertrude Street, between the colourful ‘Dagmar Rousset’ and the functional ‘Wilde’ so when an opening (or several) takes place, crowds bulge on the street and take space from the footpaths and tables of the bar next door, with which the owner seems cool and that’s nice of him.
Walking into the show ‘Drawing Stories’ by Nick Chilvers I was struck by nothing, literally. Empty on the walls with speakers, this piece was a composite of sound, story and field recording supporting a transcript available from a stack on a wall but without making the effort to return the day after, which I did, it was impossible to consume in the aural congest of an opening in a small and boxy gallery space. That being said, it was a gutsy, ballsy move to go for a transcript with noise portrait and later I went down to Hot Potato on Smith Street and bought an ironic hat for $2 just to put on and take off in salute of the artist. Who would think of a story and then read in a work like that? I was pissed at my parents too, and for this reason I found the words a relatable element as alienation by the Jazz, popular music of an older generation, was appropriated as a canvas a younger man’s words could project on and gleam from.
‘Storage’ by Lucina Lane was inconspicuous as an installation and tucked in the central space of the gallery would be easy to miss if you weren’t paying attention. The work consisted of stacks of wrapped canvases in full packing garb, leaning in arrangement as though between temporal locations of states of being, after creation but before display, their functional destiny still a distant future, demonstrating the beauty of the liminal state to borrow words of the artist herself.
Jenny Zhe Chang’s statement of cultural acceptance and unprejudiced understanding consisting of deconstructed and then reconstructed Ping-Pong bats at first turned my screen addled mind to Pac-man. The intended representation however was a combination of the Ying-Yang and the gold medal; western ambition married to eastern balance. The next day the artist adrift in the gallery was easily the most interesting part of the show. Based in Taiwan but a Beijing native her controlled enthusiasm and genuine curiosity radiated from her talk of works upcoming and the stories of artists she’s interested in globally.
The final piece to be unveiled was Tristian Jalleh’s ‘In Meditation On Violence Rotoscope, 2012’. As the piece required a projection it was not unveiled until later in the night with a certain degree of suspense and the process seemed a little awkward. The work itself was worth the effort as a mesmerising vision of human movement in altered time and state would twist across the screen and was genuinely hard to pull away from, which I think way have been the intent of the artist.
I find it interesting that he chose the word ‘violence’ for inclusion to the title, and wonder if the juxtaposition of violence and beauty was meant to have the effect that it did. I found myself almost feeling guilty for enjoying the work and finding the ‘violent’ images so beautiful and transfixing.
Overall the younger bouncier crowds of the Gertrude Street locale proved to be refreshing and fun chaotic experience; slightly confusing but worthy all the same.