Gallery 9 – Postcards

Gallery 9 is a contemporary art gallery located in Darlinghurst, dedicated to showcasing the work of established and emerging artists working in a diverse range of media from painting to installation and video. Gallery 9 was nomintated in 2006 by Contemporary Magazine, London as one of 50 emerging galleries in the world. That’s pretty cool. Considering how many galleries there are, tucked into all the nooks and corners of all the streets of the world, an international tip of the hat for a small Sydney gallery working their butts off? That is truly great.

We think all the artists that Gallery 9 represents are super talented, but we’re particularly interested in the work they do with video artists, which is not as commonly seen in Sydney galleries as other forms of contemporary art. Gallery 9 represents the work of a few video artists, including Robin Hungerford and Peter Alwast. Video art in interesting in that it’s so different to other forms of art, whose beauty and experiential qualities often lie in the physicality of the artwork. For example, how is video art collected? At the same time, video art can offer a distinctly thoughtful, immersive and even transfixing experience.

Peter Alwast’s work seems to possess this transfixing quality. As we watched it we wondered, and as we were wondering we didn’t want to stop watching. This makes a lot of sense when he explains his work in his own words during an interview with fellow artist Grant Stevens; “I have cast perpetually rotating objects and texts into often seamless, endless video loops. There’s a sense of time passing, and yet, in returning to the same moment over and over, they also suggest time is suspended.” If we described the narrative of the loops to you, you might not be able to comprehend what he means, you need to watch a few of them to understand. You can view Peter Alwast’s work online at his website. There’s actually a lot to read about him as well, if you’re a little confused or simply want to find out more.

Robin Hungerford makes video art where the effect on the audience is much more evident. His latest series puts a series of plasticine heads in front of the camera, and over the course of the video they slowly and drippingly melt away into an indiscernible blob. Although the heads are obviously not anything close to a human head, the result is both strangely horrific and fascinating at once, particularly at about the midpoint of the video, when the softly sliding external features give way to a flow of blue and red internal gore, followed by a rainbow uprising of muck. It is pretty cool. We recommend you make the worthy decision and use six minutes of your  life to watch it!

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by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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