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Fringe 09

Circuit is at Off the Kerb

Art Monthly Artnotes Issue 224

ABC News -For sale $1.2b Used Car Part


FRONT GALLERY: "Used Car (part) from Afghanistan"

by Van Rudd
Friday 18th September - Friday 16th October
(Opening Night Friday 18th September 6pm - 9pm)

Afghanistan is still being burnt, divided, and thrown on the scrap heap of a large pile of U.S-led, imperial plundering. Rudd uses a “used car part” as a symbol of this catastrophe and displays it upon a plinth in Off the Kerb's front gallery.

Van Thanh Rudd was born in Nambour, Queensland and is currently working as a visual artist in Melbourne's west. Since 1994 he has been exhibiting his work in galleries and later, on the city streets of Australia's main cities.

In 2004 he created The Carriers Project where he carries on foot his large paintings through busy city streets and shopping malls. He toured this project nationally in 2007. In 2009 he was co-founder of the collectives A-17P (Artists of the 17th Parallel) and The CEOs (Collective Engagement Operatives). Some of his latest exhibitions are called Eternal Residencies, curated by deceased victims of 20th and 21st century imperial aggression. They are eternal interventions into institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum and The White House.

Van’s art is influenced, inspired and directed towards movements of social justice around the globe. His major aim is to expose his often controversial art to as many people as possible in order to inspire discussion and debate about art's role in today's environmental, political and economic crises.

BACK GALLERY: "Life is Beautiful"

by Andrew Gordon
Friday 18th September - Friday 16th October
(Opening Night Friday 18th September 6pm - 9pm)

Life is Beautiful is a series of new paintings by southern Victorian artist Andrew Gordon. A body of mixed media pieces from 2009 that focus on the dreams and terrors of himself and others. Overheard train conversations, A Current Affair reporting, and pop culture references make up the subject matter for Gordon’s debut solo exhibition.


by Gus Kollar
Friday 18th September - Friday 16th October
(Opening Night Friday 18th September 6pm - 9pm)

A couch is an object designed for comfort.  It serves a physical and practical purpose.  With this in mind, it makes sense that a couch would be designed to fulfill these criteria.  Functionality would dictate that there would be an optimal design, that all couches would adhere to this design concept.  The reality is far from it.  Couches come in all shapes, sizes, colours, textures and ironically levels of comfort.  So much so that form overtakes function and creates a couch that may have high visual appeal and low comfort levels.  Design will always contain the human element, which means the couch becomes a bridge between the designer and the audience (buyer).  This connection found within the design of objects could be expressed as the externalization of identity and ego of the audience (buyer) resonating with the designer.

Many different people will choose to resonate with many different couches.  What if many people have to resonate with only one couch?  How would they choose to bring the couch to life?  We make decisions on most of the items in our lives with both an emotional influence and practical consideration.  So how would you choose to relate to an object that you did not buy? The home is said to be an intimate extension of our personality.  However, it is ourselves that give power to the items that own and hold dear to us.  We fall in love with our possessions, for they provide us with unconditional love.  A couch is only a couch and yet in terms of use it is only second to the bed.  Oddly enough a couch is a possession that you will only see when someone invites you into their home or private space, another family member ready to provide comfort to those who use it.

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