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Platform August 09

In the underground vitrines along Campbell’s Arcade, under Degraves Street, the train commuters exiting Flinders St. Station are exposed to contemporary art. The August series of exhibitors were typical of the exhibitions at Platform.

Claire Gallagher’s Absence of the Inner is a glass tank, an empty vitrine lit by a single fluorescent tube inside a vitrine. Nature, in the form of potted plants, taxidermy birds, taxidermy fox, animal bones, wire, string and dirt, has been pushed to the side and what remains in the centre is a void. Gallagher’s Absence of the Inner is a comment and a critique of the contemporary art, the void space defining art and excluding nature. This absence of any inner sums up much of the art exhibited in Platform’s vitrines; it is art by definition of its display in the vitrines of Platforms and lacks any inner content.

I was enchanted by the installation by Chronox at Platform. It is remarkable use of a very old stage illusion and computer graphics. On what appears to be simple forms made of toothpicks and wire magical colorful forms move. The mirrors, DVD players, screens and angled glass are hidden from view.

Perkins’ Leg is a complete installation with sand, plants and a story created by Dominic Kavanagh. However it failed to generate any kind of mystery or relevance, with bits of burnt wood that allegedly are the remains of a wooden robot. I preferred Kavanagh’s  Rebellious Garden Shed that was exhibited at Seventh Gallery last year (see my review). The Rebellious Garden Shed had an inner life and dynamism Unlike Perkin’s Leg.

Adam Cruickshank follows the logic of brand name promotions: everything is the greatest and everything is a trophy. His Enhanced Awareness Campaign is fun but never really triumphed in getting a punch-line to his visual humor.  Rachael Hooper has two acrylic paintings on a dozen sheets of paper. The two large images; one is of big subject, a landscape, and the other a close up of a ham sandwich. Between you and me and the gatepost Natasha Frisch’s Between you and me is a very boring work. Most people passing by in the pedestrian subway probably think that it is even more boring since it looks like plastic fencing. Until you get close and realize that it is all made of tracing paper. And Dell Stewart’s Elementary was too elementary to excite my interest.

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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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