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Exhibitions @ RMIT

I wasn’t excited by “Liu Xiao Xian: From East to West” at RMIT Gallery. Fun though it is, I have seen a lot of neo-Dada, neo-Pop art before. And there didn’t seem to be much more than a continuous Chinese-Australian or Chinese-Western references. Liu Xiao Xian putting his own face in western images has limited amusement; it is yet more re-branding of familiar images. The superficial of content is masked by an over production the creation of larger and more spectacular images. I did enjoy his various glazed porcelain game boards, as an avid game player they generated imaginary sculptural possibilities of moves on the board.

“Family Blue Print” by Sarah Deed is installed at RMIT’s First Site Gallery 2 (downstairs from RMIT Gallery). It is a fun installation; Deed has found new tractions playing with the art trope of the wrapped object. Even when the object is not there, as in the “Family Blue Print”, the packaging indicates the intended contents. In the “Family Blue Print” there is a package for all the family including the car, dog, doghouse, bird and birdcage. It is a portrait, in installation form, of the ideal packaged modern family.

In Deed’s “Family Blue Print” the wrapped object is taken to its high consumer extreme with the use of the blue Ikea bags. It also gives the exhibition a uniform consumer friendly color. Sarah Deed’s artist’s statement emphasizes the packaging as: “Wrapped in a consumable generic skin we are objects, separated and connected to the objects of the material world. The material world is an extension of ourselves. The envelopes we place ourselves in, our clothes, houses and cities are not reality itself but representations, dreams and desires disseminated through media that create a common meaningful purpose and a cohesive society.”

The two photographs didn’t really add anything to Sarah Deed’s exhibition. The realization, recorded in a photograph, of a family, or the very obedient dog, packed in the blue material reduced the more fantastic idea suggested by the installation to the mundane. If there had been more photographs then they might have contributed something that couldn’t have been imagined in the gallery. However, imagining you are free of the empty packaging of a shared consumer reality brings it into sharper focus.

If not satisfied return the unused portion in the original wrapper for a full refund.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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