Cover image of the review
Lewis Fidock and Joshua Petherick, Character, 2017 animatronic doll, cosmetics, cables 890 (h) x 380 (w) x 360 (d)

Lewis Fidock and Joshua Petherick, Weevils in the Flour

11 Apr 2020
Gertrude Contemporary 8 Feb - 22 Mar 2020

How to review a Contemporary Art installation? Just dive in. Sink or swim. No one will help you. The signs are never there. What the default position of CA produces—sometimes engineered as a passive-aggressive strategy, sometimes as a desperate avoidance of categorisation—is for the art to obfuscate. It’s a tack that hinges on well-worn rejections of clearly communicating to “the audience”. Fine if the artist has something complex to say, but for over two centuries visual artists have operated at the barely audible threshold of the murmuring intelligentsia.

Nothing can back up what I'm saying here. But just nod if you've walked into a contemporary art installation to begin playing the game of decoding its Dungeons and Dragons-like search for gold keys. Frankly, I hate that feeling of being coerced into working out what's going on in an art installation. I have no interest in engaging or being engaged with its Isadora Duncan–like trailing of poetic signifiers around my presence. So it's rare that I walk into an exhibition and there's a bunch of stuff that triggers a response that momentarily moves beyond such well-codified stratagems which professionally practicing artistes employ to appease maternalistic curators shaping their careers.

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