White Rabbit

“This is a REAL gallery”, I said to my friend Kate today, as we wandered around the recently opened White Rabbit Collection. While I like pretty pictures, I also really like challenging art work, and there was plenty of it to be found at the White Rabbit Gallery, just off Regent Street in Chippendale. The gallery specialises in Chinese art. And we started off our exploration of the gallery today by watching a film on Chinese performance art in the 80s and 90s. There was some genuinely weird stuff – by mainstream tastes – with lots of bleeding, body suspension, and that kind of stuff – possibly with far too many naked bodies – but it’s stuff I really like. I really like my art to challenge, to be off the beam, to show me and tell me about things outside my life and perspectives. And there was plenty of that in the film. My favourite work was a piece called “Mental Patients” by the artist Lu Zheng Yuan. The fibreglass sculptures appear to have been crafted from mud. They tell an amazing and yet tragic story. And as you walk around the room in which they’re located, you can’t help but look at them, and think about the people they represent. It’s definitely a gallery worth checking out.

Kate and I also went to the MCA today to see Primavera, which you would hope was equally challenging, as it generally features work from young up and coming artists. We walked around, we looked, but unfortunately there was nothing which either of us found to be challenging or interesting. There were videos without much purpose, and installations which, seemingly, were put together with bits and pieces found in a Newtown share-house. On the way out, we noticed a sign which said, “This collection contains images which may challenge or offend….” (or words to that effect). “I must have missed those”, Kate reflected with a wry grin…

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