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March 10, 2014 | by  | in Arts Visual Arts |
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Cinema & Painting – Review

The electronic doors slide open. A shoe squeaks against the wooden floor as I inhale my first intoxicating breath of the Adam’s cool, purified air. My pupils, dilated by the saturation of light, gaze upon expansive white walls that are pregnant with possibility. The gallery has invited me in. Not knowing what lies around the corner of the Upper Chartwell Gallery is alluring, evocative, and sexy. It could be anything.

Like going to the cinema, walking into a gallery is a multi-sensory experience. We are bombarded by images, the aromas present, and the sounds produced in the environment. We are here to be entertained, challenged, and enlightened. We are to view art. It is at the intersection of these two cultural phenomena that the Adam’s latest exhibition begins.

Cinema & Painting offers an insight into the confusing world of genre-bending art. The works in this exhibition concurrently occupy different artistic identities. Judy Millar’s Space Work 7, for example, is an 11.1 x 4.3 m painted sculptural installation which sprawls across the gallery’s first exhibition space. Beginning as a strip of paint smeared across the wall, the piece extends obtrusively into the viewers’ space as it morphs into what looks like an unfurled film reel. Evoking cinematic imagery and energy, Millar’s installation is a hybrid of a multitude of artistic genres and the perfect opening line in the exhibition’s dialogue.

Around the corner in the Upper Chartwell Gallery, Diana Thater employs theatrical lighting and found architecture to enhance the viewing of the engorged daisies being projected on to the gallery’s wall. The effect is both mesmerising and disturbing. While the environment is surreal and inviting, the projection of oversized daisies is reminiscent of the psychedelic boat-ride scene from the original Willy Wonka film. Intriguing, but creepy as fuck.

The standout piece for me has to be Phil Solomon’s film, American Falls. Subjecting archival footage from America’s colonial history to chemical decay, Solomon’s film appears to spill out from the screen as we watch the corroding and destruction of American history. The images are distorted, and as the film transitions from one cultural touchstone to the next, viewers are served up a complex and re-edited past of the land of the free.

Cinema and Painting is one of those rare exhibitions that challenges its viewers on every level. Questions like: ‘What is a film?’ and ‘What/where is the boundary between film and painting?’ are raised constantly throughout the show. It’s confusing, and playful, and above all else, it made me think.

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  1. Johnd18 says:

    Very interesting topic, appreciate it for putting up. kdacagbgdkkk

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