Cover image of the review
Mas Agung Wilis Yudha Baskoro, A day of common peoples series, 2023. Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria.


30 Mar 2024
National Gallery of Victoria | NGV International 3 Dec - 7 Apr 2024

Ten columns of text about ten photographers are jammed into a grin at the mouth of a room enveloped with dark carpet. These dental veneers of illustrious self-made third-person bios and black and white headshots precede any glimpse of the fruits of the labour they discuss. As visitors step further into the room, the carpet absorbs any incidental light and sound. The sensory deprivation disembodies visitors against the incoming tide of images that simulate the overwhelmingness of the proverbial Megacity.

Installation view of the work of Saumya Khandelwal, Delhi in Megacities on display as part of NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy

The city-slash-room layout possesses its own hostile architecture. The limited seating is invisible, and wherever one stands within the hanging maze of perpendicular screens, they’re blocking someone else’s view. Trying to duck and weave induces claustrophobia, leading people to pool in the corners.

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