Friday, 6 July 2012

Firstdraft: Will French, Fernando do Campo & CY NORMAN

Will French, Forever, 2012
Will French, Fernando do Campo & CY NORMAN
Firstdraft Gallery: June 27- July 14, 2012

For me the work of Will French was the stand-out of the three exhibitions on display. In particular A Million Pieces was especially beautiful. The container held saltwater and sand from Mona Vale Beach with his grandmothers false teeth and an antique Venetian Hotel key ring that was his grandfathers. The sense of nostalgia and family was palpable and I feel the driving force behind this work and what makes it so exceptional. I never would have thought false teeth could be beautiful but in this context they add a personal dimension to the work and a human element. 
Will French, A Million Pieces (detail) 2012

Will French, Quite Cavalier, 2012
What I like most about the Quite Cavalier is the description on the room sheet.

Scale replica of 'A Cavalier', a 17th-century Dutch by Frans van Mieris, formally of the Art Gallery of NSW Collection. Current whereabouts is unknown. NFS- Will trade for Volkswagon Van or Livable Yacht.

While the work itself, in isolation, is quite unremarkable, it is the text that gives it character and is what made me take a second look. The insinuation that this is some sort of stolen, precious painting that cannot be sold for anything less than a livable yacht is clever and slightly ingenious.
I still don't know what to think of CY NORMAN's work. Someone told me that he is a sound artist and this work differed from previous in that only that artist could hear the sound being produced. As amusing as it was to see a man lying on the floor with his head in a box I left feeling slightly unfulfilled. Based on the information on the room sheet I think perhaps at certain times the audience is invited to participate and perhaps it was just at the opening that the artist took centre stage. You check it out for yourself here.  
Fernando do Campo, Anagram I, 2011

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