briefs

2017-03-13

‘Body of Work’ review for Art Monthly Australasia

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Jenny Harper, director of the Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand, reviews ‘Body of Work’.


 Jenny Harper asks how the current politics of a public presentation of ‘Body of Work’ would play out in this excerpt from her review ‘Allure and discomfort’ for the March edition of Art Monthly Australasia

“I also wonder at this body of work, the allure and discomfort it generates. Has Connew invented ‘horse porn’? Might these images be presented in a publicly funded gallery? We’d recommend discretion and show the work in an area not able to be wandered into, but would this be R18 as was the ‘X Portfolio’ of Robert Mapplethorpe when shown in Wellington in 1995? Would we ask for it to be classified? ‘Body of Work’ doesn’t have the banality of the subject’s comments added to Fiona Clark’s images of transvestites first shown in the 1970s, nor the fusion with religion which offended so many whether or not they were exposed to Andres Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ’ at the National Gallery of Victoria in the single weekend it was shown in 1997. How would the politics of a public presentation of ‘Body of Work’ play out now? Are we more or less risk-averse?”

 

 

The opening gambit of ‘Allure and discomfort’.

“Art sometimes stops us in our comfortable tracks. It presents a world we thought we knew differently – or perhaps a different world.”