Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Darragh in Objectspace

AA
View Discussion
Judy Darragh, Choir, 2021, found plastic forms, wood. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Judy Darragh, lunge, 2021, fishnet tights, plastic objects. Detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett Judy Darragh, Capital, 2021, chiffon scarves, wood, plastic, foam, fabric, detail. Photo: Sam Hartnett

In fact the title and marketing is false advertising, which oddly I'm happy about. Of the 26 artworks, only eight incorporate plastic—probably I'm guessing, the result of a failure of nerve in these ultra eco-conscious planet-friendly times.

Auckland

 

Judy Darragh
Competitive Plastics
Curated by Heather Galbraith

 

19 June - 5 September 2021

In this survey—of Judy Darragh‘s recent work, selected by Heather Galbraith—I was expecting a show consisting entirely of plastic sculpture, something (due to my love of assemblage artists such as Don Driver) I’m personally quite interested in. Darragh, surely, would be expected to have an interesting viewpoint. She could come up with an expository presentation looking at the material. Draw out some argument on the politics (or otherwise) of plastic.

In fact the title and marketing is false advertising, which oddly I’m happy about. Of the 26 artworks, only eight incorporate plastic—probably, I’m guessing, the result of a failure of nerve in these ultra eco-conscious planet-friendly times. (The fact of being recycled doesn’t stop them from being celebratory.)

Nevertheless it is a nice show—maybe overloaded with six works too many, but nice. And Galbraith in her teeny-weeny mini-essay tries to link Darragh with the French philosopher Catherine Malabou, but Malabou is really only interested in plasticity. That and ‘the fold.’ A little more elaboration on what these two women have in common might have helped. If it is the case that they do, then it’s a missed opportunity to persuade.

Still indisputably, in this selection there is some thrilling, very tasty, artwork: a couple of lovely big juicy exuberant paintings on video banners, particularly Spotter (2012); three Arman-style Perspex encased collections of empty cigarette boxes (that illustrate smoking’s horrid consequences) and plastic balls, Smoke (2020); three witty Marclay / Pound influenced collages (using found magazine photographs) about the make-up industry and many women’s daily ritual, Sirens (2020); two clever (none too subtle) vulvic—‘central state’—sculptures about fetishism, Stiletto (2021) on the wall, and on the floor, Pelvic, (2021); two wonderful blurry coloured digital photographs, Stroke (2021) and Crunch (2021), the former using a nearby freestanding sculpture of stacked foam rubber rolls; and two fabulous works celebrating heaps of shiny high-saturation raucous plastic: Choir (2021) on the wall, and Mono (2021) on the floor.

This travelling exhibition is a good presentation to spend decent time with, to allow wandering back and forth and comparing. However, I suspect it will look a lot better in CoCA in Ōtautahi Christchurch, in the upstairs Mair Gallery where there is heaps more room. There are two freestanding diagonally-aligned exhibiting walls that meet in an acute corner, and in the South Island they (and the ultra-high stud) will be more effective at drawing out the best in Darragh‘s wide-ranging colour-adoring (yet toxically aware) projects.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Fiona Pardington, Judgement, 2021, pigment inks on Hahnemuhle paper, 176 x 140 cm

Pardington’s Cartomancy

STARKWHITE

Auckland

 

Fiona Pardington
Tarota


16 November 2021 - 18 December 2021

JH
Installation downstairs at Michael Lett of Simon Denny's Document Relief 30 (Palantir Image Identification patent) 2021

Denny At His Best

MICHAEL LETT

Auckland

 

Simon Denny and et al.
Simon Denny et al

 

17 November - 18 December 2021

 

JH
Matt Arbuckle's 'In the Echoes'  as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Matt Arbuckle at Two Rooms

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

Matt Arbuckle
In the Echoes


13 August—20 November 2021

JH
Brett Graham, Maungārongo ki te Whenua, Maungārongo ki te Tangata, as installed in the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Virtual Tai Moana Tai Tangata

Govett Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre virtual (lockdown) presentation

Brett Graham

 

Tai Moana Tai Tangata

 

Curated by Anna-Marie White