Saturday, October 4, 2008

And the Winner Is.........

"Miss Christchurch" Guillaume Bijl. Oct. 2008. Ajr
I’m probably going to get growled at for photographing this exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery but I wanted you to see the absolute loveliness of this SCAPE 2008 work by Belgian artist, Guillaume Bijl. It’s called Miss Christchurch – a work that has colonised the William A Sutton Gallery in a beautiful shower of loud music and sultry coloured lighting that makes me want to curl up in the corner and stay there. It’s a double-barrelled message - on the one hand drawing our attention to the almost obsolete beauty pageant phenomenon; and on the other, questioning “whether the gallery has been overly focussed on surface beauty without acknowledging the changing social, cultural and political context in which it operates.” I’ve visited this work three times now and on each occasion I’ve been the only person in the room. It’s been fascinating to watch people arrive at the doorway, hesitate and then slink away – as if they’re either terrified of confronting what the work is all about; or simply unaware that they’re actually allowed to enter and sit down. It's one of my favourite works in this year's biennial. To see other biennial works I've written about click on Scape Biennial in the label line below this post.

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