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The Melbourne Art Fair

The Melbourne Art Fair

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
Oscar Wilde

With any sort of creative occupation it is imperative that art becomes a part of one's daily existence so as to feed that artistic streak within.  It doesn't matter what that occupation is, writer, poet, filmmaker, painter, dancer, actor and the list can go on.  What is important is the stimulation to further the creations that comes from confronting all art forms.  Inspiration will transpire, and with that in mind I visited the Melbourne Art Fair.

It has been running for 25 years now and it covers a cross section of the region's art.  Galleries from all over the world can participate to show case their artists, and the art fair becomes a glimpse of the current state of the world, even for a moment.

As a filmmaker I wanted to see what artists are creating and why.  For me it is essential to understand the psyche behind these creations for it is a representation of the society as a whole.  What are the themes?  What colours are mainly employed?  What is the preferred medium?  How is light treated in the majority of the art works?  And of course, how does this all relate to my own films?

Above everything else however, what intrigued me the most was a new trend amongst artists to work collaboratively.  This concept struck a chord with me, for filmmaking is a collaborative process, but art traditionally has not been.  Seeing these collaborative pieces, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the power of the concepts behind them.  It truly was, as if,  two minds were indeed better than one.  

Art Equity,, showcased Doble and Strong, two artists who work together side by side to create riveting works on the female form; Robert Doble is the painter and Simon Strong, is the photographer who together create works that challenge the viewer to understand the manipulation of beauty whereby it becomes a medically mechanical process to achieve aesthetic perfection.


Doble and Strong

"Their latest body of work 'Flesh & Blood' is concerned with highlighting and disrupting traditional notions of beauty; the female form is marked by glutinous paint that transforms the body into a strangely sensuous object of desire".-Art Equity

Galeria Afa,, a gallery in Santiago, Chile, also showcased artists working collaboratively together.  Very interesting that across the other side of the world the same thing is occurring.  Nicolas Superby and Juan Pablo Langlos-Vicuna, create videos/animations of sculptures made with paper and mixed media that Juan Pablo Langlos-Vicuna creates but then places in various situations, focusing on the human form and the social stigmatisation of the human condition in various unruly settings.  

Nicolas Superby                                 Juan Pablo Langlos-Vicuna

The director, Camila Opazo, stressed that artists had a very difficult time working and practising on their art, due to the military constraints in Chile, but together, and collaboratively they were able to portray works that captured the essence of their culture and mindset.

I always enjoy the Melbourne Art Fair.  The art is varied and it really is a celebration of Australian art and then some wonderful surprises with International galleries also joining the exhibition space.  I eagerly await the next one, but in the interim for me, as a filmmaker I understand that currently there are some dark spaces that humans inhabit, where the physical form of what it means to be human is challenged by the inhabitable space, technology and the medical advances that are occurring, doubled with the inequities throughout our world and at times to be human has become a burden rather than an asset.  I applaud that artists do not see the world as it is, but rather, can see it in far more clearer ways than anyone else can.

Stella Dimadis
August 2014.


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