Exhibition Essays

Number Nine Reviews

December 2002

Curative Acts Review

Emma Jean

Welcome to the playground for artists with angst—Curative Acts investigates the politics of exhibiting art. From the Play the Art Scene Snakes and Ladders board to the Curatorial Merry Go Round, which the viewer can spin to ascertain the worth of a work of art by categories such as ‘non-art', ‘artifact' or ‘masterpiece.'

While I enjoyed the sense of chaos, I felt the exhibition would have had more impact if less pieces were included. Perhaps intentionally there was a sense that there was too much information to respond to in what is a relatively small gallery space.

The black plinth piece, east-side of the gallery worked well because it has its own space. Consisting of an over size crimson velvet barrier, and a plinth exhibiting a plaque with text too small to read without the binoculars provided encourages that viewer to consider the accepted rules and boundaries of gallery visits. I was loathe to cross the barrier, even though when I considered why, there was no good reason not to do so.

Curative Acts is unusual for Enjoy because it seems the space was not taken into particularly serious consideration for the exhibition. It also has the feeling of a more traditional exhibition in that there is an explanatory text to be read on entering the gallery, something I have never seen before at an Enjoy show.

Although I admire the passion of the work, I feel it suffers from a heavy-handedness. ‘I'm an artist' by Alison Jones sums it up best – it's a painter's shirt handing on the wall covered with paint spats. Written in part are words such as 'I am/I know I am an artist' etc. I admire the attempt to highlight the difficulties of exhibiting art in a capitalist environment, yet I left the gallery feeling like Karvelas and Plimmer had been banging my head against a wall while yelling ‘The world IS corrupt! The world IS corrupt!


Originally published by The Package