Monday, 22 October 2012



G’day  Possums,
Popped into CCP t’other day to see the Gregory Crewdson Show, “In a Lonely Place”.

“In a Lonely Place presents the first comprehensive exhibition of Crewdson's work in Australia.

In Beneath the Roses, anonymous townscapes, forest clearings and broad, desolate streets are revealed as sites of mystery and wonder; similarly, ostensibly banal interiors become the staging grounds for strange human scenarios. Crewdson's scenes are tangibly atmospheric: visually alluring and often deeply disquieting. Never anchored precisely in time or place, these and the other narratives of Beneath the Roses are located in the dystopic landscape of the anxious American imagination. Crewdson explores the American psyche and the dramas at play within quotidian environments.

In his most recent series, Sanctuary (2010), Crewdson has taken a new direction, shooting for the first time outside the US. During a trip to Rome, he visited the legendary Cinecittà studios, which was founded by Mussolini in the 1930s and is associated with the great Italian film director Federico Fellini. Crewdson discovered fragments of a past glory, with occasional unexpected views of the surrounding contemporary Roman suburbia. Cinecittà is a lonely place deserted by the film crews who once used the site to recreate settings of ancient Rome, medieval Italy and nineteenth-century New York.”
(CCP Catalogue)

I didn’t see “Fireflies” or the video, which are also in this show (too many School-kids noising the place up) but was content to see the main event.

The works in “Beneath the Roses” are large, approximately 2.5 x 1.5 metres, which display that wonderful photographic quality of attention to detail that at one turn compresses scale and at another, expands reality. They invite your look and demand that you study the detail, as it’s in the details the story is woven.

There is also the Light. A light, or should I say an awareness of light, used as a compositional device not just as illumination, quietly leading your gaze through the scene. Apart from the technical impressiveness of balancing that light on such a scale the overall unity of it within the compositions is quite breathtaking.

 And the detail. What is that apple doing on the right of the window? 
And is the woman ( the man's daughter?) meditating or just paused in preparing the slab of steak for dinner? 
Time here is in abayence. The space indicates isolation and resignation but not despair.

Does the yellow ribbon on the pole on the right indicate that the pregnant woman has Endometriosis? The signs that abound in this work are numerous and confusing; it all becomes too much and if you look too far you will not "see" it. 

 Homage to Courbet's "Bather's" or Manet's "Le Dejeneur sur le Herbe"?  Beautiful light at an awkward moment in a relationship or assignation ..a quiet spot but with a sense of being overlooked.

The hints of presence, of resignation and rawness of feeling. Of the "play" set within a proscenium and centre stage.

Technical devices like the "Golden Mean" and single point perspective that structure the works into coherent wholes.

Impressive works but with a peculiarly "American" sentiment that prods toward a message but doesn't confront.

 At the Cinecitte studios there is a sense of the abandonment of a constructed Pompeii, of lives terminated and actions interrupted and the odd juxtapositions of elements that make theatre so alluring.


Here in the Tardis State (where all goes backwards) Big Bird Baillieu (genus: Silvertail Incompetens) seems to be getting advice from failed ex premier Kennett (the Dorian Grey of Victorian politics)

Returning from China, "Big Bird" decided that it would be good if more school-kids had a second language. 
It is ironic that this announcement came at the same time as the 20th anniversary of the disaster that began the Kennett era with the sacking of all the language teachers and closure of 350 schools.
As the State is still short of language teachers, Big-Bird is proposing a return to the failed Sattelite dish and "100-kids-in-a-classroom-trick" that millions of dollars were wasted upon all those years ago for 5 minutes use.
Big-Bird is also warning that there may be power shortages and price increases as Carbon Pricing makes polluting with brown coal less profitable.
It's a pity Kennett closed down the old State-run SEC research facility into wind and solar power when he got into office and didn't understand what Sir john Monash felt about jobs for the returning soldiers and infrastructure in this state and that Baillieu's recent restrictions have virtually made it impossible to site a wind farm in Victoria.

So what have we got?

No progress in alternative energy, no possibility of "public" service, just increasingly poor services so that shareholders can make a profit.
Millions of dollars in payouts to the DPP and past Police Chief as compensation for being politically  unpopular and, I suspect, avoiding their nasty probing questions.
Has Big-Bird Baillieu got integrity?
No. (See details of the "Shaw" scandal. He wasn't waving btw... he's drowning)
Is this a good government?
Will Abbott who looks and sounds increasingly like an addled loose cannon lead the Liarbrils to the next election?
I don't think so ...he will be "knifed' in December. (....there's a bit of soothsaying)

cheers petals,


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