Preview :: Daniel Askill’s Modern Worship
April 19th 2011
Nick La Rosa
For those of you who, like me, are still mourning the closure of the Monster Children gallery last December, I have some welcome news. This Wednesday sees the first run of roaming exhibition series, Gallery A.S.
Gallery A.S. is the brainchild of Monster Children curator Joseph Allen Shea, who has a reputation for showing up and coming artists operating outside an academic, art school model. The ‘gallery’ is set to appear in a series of spaces around Sydney, and collaborate with numerous artists. The first venue you’ll get to check out is The Christian Science Church on the corner of Liverpool and Forbes.
Fittingly, given this incredible space, the debut Gallery A.S. show is Modern Worship from artist Daniel Askill. Askill certainly fits the mould of Shea’s preferred artist, working both commercially and in galleries to produce his unique brand of mesmerising, if somewhat unsettling videos.
Modern Worship takes as its focus two of the most memorable events of the last decade – 9/11 and the death of Michael Jackson – also responding, says the artist, to J.G. Ballard’s The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race.
Already you’ve got a pretty dense layering of themes there – fame, money, capitalism, death, the cultural divide – I could go on. Askill’s aesthetic is immediately striking (cop the plane about to hit the King of Pop if you don’t believe me) and his previous body of work (which includes the morbidly fascinating We Have Decided Not to Die and previous collaboration with Shea Artefacts from the Fifth Ritual) attests to this.
Throw in a slightly odd-ball house of worship and the warm fuzzies of a brand new gallery project, and you’ve got yourself a winning combo. Let’s just hope Gallery A.S. proves to be as timely and effortlessly cool as Monster Children was in its heyday. Shea has reportedly been checking out a whole bunch of exciting potential spaces, including disused sex shops and old supermarkets, so I reckon the chances are pretty good that we could be witnessing the birth of a new local icon.
What: Modern Worship
Where: The Christian Science Church, corner of Liverpool and Forbes Sts.
When: Opening 6 – 9pm Wednesday April 20th, then from April 21st – 24th, 11am – 6pm everyday.
How much: Nada!