MGA photography Exhibition

Currently showing at the MGA, is The Inaugural William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize. I recently visited with this show with a group of photography students from work, a fine cross section of the current state of photographic art in Australia at the moment.

For once I was caught out and didn't have either a pen OR a notebook with me, thankfully I managed to scrounge up a piece of paper and a pen from a student, thanks Kirstie. I scratched a few thoughts down on the piece of paper, and if you were thinking of visiting this photography exhibition perhaps my observations maybe of some interest to both of you?

Firstly the notes or more to the point the 'words' I scribbled down in no particular order.

  • Unanswered Questions
  • Size
  • Type C [no non silver, bar one]
  • Metallic Paper
  • POMO death of magic
  • CRAFT
  • Art History References

Unanswered questions:-
all the images had a plaque, describing the artist's intentions, some using as much as two A4 sheets other using barely a line. Many though pose questions that they either refused to answer or were unable to answer leaving me wondering if the work was an investigation or a rhetorical question.

Size:-
85% of the work was huge, the rest large, bar one piece, a beautiful set of polaroids taken using a special macro/medical camera. Why does contemporary art need to be so fucking large?

Metallic paper:-
There several images that were printed on this paper, most of which worked well, again though I don't understand this choice, after all it is hard and smooth and cold, not attributes I would want accredited to my work.

POMO death of magic:-
Postmodernism has to my mind been a too intellectual for it's own good, much of today's art has all sorts of ideas attached to it, once you get the idea what is left?

Craft:-
call me old fashioned but whilst craft should be invisible, bad craft should be as invisible.

Art History:-
Several pieces had art history references, so if you had no knowledge of art history then, you would not understand the pieces at all see my last point about POMO and magic.

'The Passions of Light' by Emmanuel Santos

Also on at the MGA, generated a whole list of names of Angels, which piqued my interest, the images themselves however were by and large somewhat twee, which surprised me because Mr Santos has a long history in the Melbourne Photography scene, as a Photo-Journalist documentary photographer.

Still a great survey of contemporary photographic art in Australia at the moment and real swimming pool of ideas and approaches.

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This page contains a single entry by s2art published on September 8, 2006 9:40 AM.

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