Monday, August 02, 2010

If I Had $1,000,000,I Would Buy You Some Art (A Picasso or a Garfunkle)

Back in mid-July, I took a free ferry to the inappropriately named* Cockatoo Island for an art show. Cockatoo Island is the Alcatraz of Sydney; it lies in Sydney Harbour and was alternately a prison, a school, an industrial center and a shipyard over the past 150 years or so. Recently, they have tried to refurbish it as a National Park. As part of the Sydney Biennale celebration, Cockatoo Island hosted 120 works by 56 modern artists. As is always the case, some of it was cool and some of it was just weird. I did think it was a neat venue, although after a while all those run-down buildings and old tunnels started to give me the heebie-jeebies. Here are some highlights:

This is one of the old buildings that housed an installation.

Here’s the view inside. I didn’t “get” it, but it looked pretty cool.

Molecular, Serge Spitzer

I enjoyed this piece as well. It’s hard to tell, but it was a translucent curtain with a forest on it, hung in an old timber-drying building.

Islands of Incarceration, Kate McMillan

There were quite a few videos, and this was one of them. Most of the others had some sort of plot or something, but this one was just an image of this old man doing Tai Chi. It was actually really neat and pretty hypnotic.

I’m including this second picture even though it’s a bit blurry because I think it really captures the feeling of the piece.

Static No. 12 (seek stillness in movement), Daniel Crooks

My favorite piece was this one by Hiroshi Sugimoto. He experiments with static electricity on large format film. The light boxes show pieces from his Lightning Fields series. It was quite beautiful. Unfortunately, my pictures really don’t do it justice.

Lightning Fields/Farraday Cage, Hiroshi Sugimoto

Other places besides Cockatoo Island are hosting art for the Biennale, although I did not go anywhere else on Tuesday. This piece was outside the front of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was right next to where the free ferry departed from.

Neuron, Roxy Paine

The Biennale ended 1 August, and unfortunately I didn't make it to the Museum of Contemporary Art before then. I liked the visit to Cockatoo Island though. The ride was fun, the art was interesting, and I would like to go again to see the historical side of the island.

*I didn’t see a single Cockatoo on the island. I did see, however, about 50 bajillion seagulls.

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