Cover image of the review

On the path, curated by Babs Rapeport and Isabella Darcy

26 Jun 2021
- 19 Jun 2021

As soon as it was RISING, it was falling, and crashing, and burning. The glossy black merchandise was being given away. The budget must have gone straight into the Birrarung. In the pandemic, ambition is presumptuous. Fate-tempting. As yet another Stage 4 clanged down at the end of May, COVID remorselessly halted any moderately organised event. RISING petered out. Locked down together, artists and housemates Babs Rapeport and Isabella Darcy plotted a spontaneous paste-up exhibition.

On the path opened on a bright Sunday morning roughly three weeks later. Eleven emerging and mid-career artists exhibited, connected by a loose proximity to the suburb of Thornbury. Unfunded and off-the-cuff, it would surely fail any planning and consultation criteria of a public body. It could have happened or not happened. To say the event was disorganised (or “disorganising”) would be incorrect. It was cusping organised, perhaps. On the verge.

The show crossed the seven blocks of a snaking nature strip called Bracken Avenue. Our first foray down the path was slightly disoriented. Beginning in the middle at a Fyffe Street coffee station hosted by the curators, we were provided with a map and made our way towards its due north (cardinal south, it turned out) in search of a water drain. We encountered others who had turned back, lost. They wished us luck. Trying to identify the distinctive idioms of each artist along the way felt like a test of our collective memory. David Attwood loves logos–that must be his. Didn’t Gab D’Costa do a climbing wall work at that Thornbury gallery the other month? Is this “Dog Piano Lessons” poster a part of the show? It wasn’t.

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