Cover image of the review
GIF by Peter Tyndall of Australian author Gerald Murnane. All images depicted in this review (unless otherwise noted) are taken from Peter Tyndall's bLogos/HA HA, with permission from the artist.

Peter Tyndall

13 Jun 2020

Now that it seems to be ending, what has this period of enforced online exhibiting taught us? A distribution system that we took for granted (exhibition is installed in gallery, audience looks at work of art, exhibition is deinstalled, audience remembers or forgets exhibition) was stripped away overnight. What was left (unless you were fired) was an industry of arts workers without a program. Since then, workers have been busy digitising everything, but have we clicked? If we have clicked, out of interest or duty, we have looked, but what have we seen? What, if anything, have we remembered?

Of this period I will remember the exhibitions mounted in “simulated” gallery spaces—The Potter Museum of Art just launched one. These digital galleries are like video game versions of existing or imagined rooms; The Potter has recreated its upstairs gallery rooms. Reproductions of art are then “installed” as images pasted flat on the walls of these facsimile rooms. Like an interior Google Map, you click around the room and scroll up to a “work”. I am moved by the labour that has gone into these digital “solutions” for the estranged public, but at the same time let us all admit: these things don’t work. With the upmost respect for the effort that it took to create these airless exhibitions, we must leave this model behind as a monument to our lockdown sins.

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