Monday, August 16, 2010

Art: Now With More Seagulls

I hate art.  Ok, I don’t actually hate art, but I usually find it incredibly boring.  Yeah, it’s fine to walk around a museum once in a while, but I can’t stop and stare at every painting, and usually they all look the same to me anyway.  How many different portraits of Jesus can there be?  And that abstract art?  I just go cross-eyed.

Modern art.  Don’t even get me started on modern art.  You can go to the junkyard, grab a broken-in-half used toilet bowl, through a pint of neon paint on it, put it in a gallery, call it art, and someone will actually buy it for an obscene amount of money.  WTF?

So, I was skeptical about the Biennale.  The Biennale is a bi-annual arts festival here in Sydney.  The main portion of it is held on Cockatoo Island which sits pleasantly right in the middle of Sydney Harbour.  The island contains old military barracks, warehouses, a few old homes, and a variety of other industrial type buildings.  I had heard good things about the Biennale, and about Cockatoo Island, so I thought I’d venture to check it out, despite the art, since it would be my last chance for two years.

So, my housemate Mayra, her co-worker Andri, and I took the free ferry out there one Sunday afternoon in June (yes, I’m way behind and this blog is no longer chronological – what’s it to you?)  What we found was… actually pretty frickin’ sweet.

The art was… crazy!  And I actually liked the art aspect of it.  There were a small handful of paintings and sculptures, but most was installation art or video art.  The venue was great:  giant art pieces in big warehouses, videos set up in barracks, paintings in old military homes, and so on and so forth.  The island had tunnels and cliffs and all sorts of other fun scenery.  I kept thinking:  “This would be an amazing place to play hide and go seek.”

There was one thing I wasn’t such a huge fan of:  the seagulls.  If there’s one thing I hate more than children, it’s seagulls.  Heinous little creatures.  They were swarming everywhere and loud about it.  Cockatoo Island – I think not.  That’s a misnomer.  It should be Seagull Island.  That way we’d know to nuke it first.

And now, without further ado, some art.  Starting with:  me surrounded by space age colanders hanging from the ceiling… science fiction?  Almost.  Making me hungry for spaghetti?  Definitely.

Cockatoo Island looks like a scary old prison.  Reminds me of Shutter Island.  Eeek!

More of Cockatoo Island.

Art that lets you walk on the rooftops.  Mayra is playing the role of Mary Poppins and Andri is the chimney sweep.

Sad Mayra does not like the fog machine art.

You’ve heard of soap on a rope?  Well, this was meat on a chain.  To be precise, it was a video of a well-dressed Spanish dude tap-dancing while juggling meat that was attached to the end of chains, while hungry rabid dogs barked all around trying to get at the meat.

360 degrees of art surrounding us.  Medusa and her feminist army on treadmills.  Right.

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No – it’s a car exploding.  I knew never to buy a Chevrolet.

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