I was fortunate enough to go to the preview of Level 2 Contemporary Projects exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW last week, hosted by CCB the Contemporary Collection Benefactors of the Gallery. www.ag.nsw.gov.au
Raskopoulos is interested in language, as words, as culture and as meaning; how it is formed, where it comes from, what it alludes to and how it is expressed. Footnotes is 3 interrelated photographic and video pieces and has obvious language in it – that is, words are spelt out – but it is also the language of the body, its sexuality and gender, which is played with.
She draws and writes in red: the polish on the tidy toenails of what I presume are her feet; the lipstick which spells out in video staccato onanism (I have to admit I had to looked it up – ‘seeking one’s own sexual pleasure’) which confirms another dimension to the work and then, so female, the dripping, pooling ‘blood’ at the feet of the same woman’s feet. Colour, language and the body speak loudly and boldly of female sexuality: the colour red; the clean, elegant feet and toes, a highly erogenous zone; and words, ‘moist’, ‘onanism’.
Eugenia Raskopoulos footnotes 2011 (detail from still), 3-channel digital video, sound, installation, 4.18 min, courtesy the artist and William Wright // Artists Projects
This is not the work of a Gen Y chick, but of a woman who has lived and breathed women’s sexual politics in all its intellectual and physical intensity over the past decades and has explored aesthetic means to determine a personal expression and understanding. It is a piece of steadfast revolution. It’s not an easy piece, and possibly difficult for above the couch. But stay with it, it seduces slowly and gradually takes a commanding hold over you.
You pay to join – an affordable (though not cheap) annual fee which is wholly tax deductible, always an incentive – and your membership fee goes towards these acquisitions. Some of you may perceive CCB as exclusive, but I don’t believe it operates that way. The Gallery is remarkably welcoming and egalitarian and CCB follows that lead. It’s not about who you know or even who you are, but about your own personal interest and desire to know more about contemporary art. It is about giving too, at a level at which you are comfortable.
Some people are well versed in benefaction and are incredibly generous. Andrew and Cathy Cameron is one couple which regularly steps forward to contribute to a prospective acquisition, exhibition or publication. They maintain ongoing support of the Contemporary Projects on level 2.
Now, I am off to Adelaide to catch up with a group of fellow CCB’ers, for the opening of the Adelaide Biennial and other things arty. It is my idea of fun – great company, a well organised, packed programme of art, speakers, colleagues & dinners (always delicious in Adelaide). It is a welcome indulgence being able to immerse myself completely in this world for a few days.
But today is also the beginning of Art Month Sydney. Hang onto your hats! It is art at every turn. Check out their website www.artmonthsydney.com.au for what’s on in March. Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!
News from Adelaide next week.