Cover image of the review

People Soup

9 Sep 2017
25 Aug - 16 Sep 2017

Suicidal Oil Piglet, an unusual gallery name for which there is no given explanation, opened earlier this year in Coburg, Melbourne, by co-founders and artists Calum Lockey and Zac Segbedzi. Prior to SOP’s opening, the duo ran the website Melbourne Offsite Index with Hana Earles from 2015-6; documenting offsite shows staged in environments ranging from parked cars to empty apartments, organised by themselves and a cohort of like-minded collaborators. In its wake, SOP has provided a physical space to accommodate exhibition ideas that were necessarily limited or made impossible by the offsite one-day context. In many ways, SOP continues the ‘offsite’ mentality in an otherwise fairly traditional ‘onsite’ space, by showing artists who are seldom shown in larger institutional contexts ranging from emerging to established.

Curated by Lockey, SOP’s sixth exhibition takes the form of a film programme entitled People Soup that is advertised as ‘works by and about artists: 1963 to 2017.’ The gallery’s street-facing windows were lined with black garbage bags, and inside three rows of four chairs, cable-tied together, faced the east wall of the gallery where the films were to be projected, playing one after the other, creating a makeshift cinema experience in movie-marathon tradition. The popping of a small, retro-red, portable popcorn machine at the gallery’s entrance, presumably bought for the occasion, was the only sound that interrupted the soundscapes of the films on show.

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