The Hanging Review: Gallery Barry Keldoulis

March 17th 2011


Gallery Barry Edulis
Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro and Shay Mazloom

Getting drunk often goes one of two ways. You travel either to the gutter or to a higher road of truth and release. Alcohol deconstructs your equilibrium and opens a realm where the unexpected, extraordinary, wonderful and horrible can erupt. It is this process of deconstruction and the unpredictable awe of reconstruction that entices collaborative artists Claire Healy and Sean Corodeiro.

Drunken Clarity, Healy and Cordeiro’s latest installation at Gallery Barry Keldoulis, invites you into post-party exquisiteness. Delicately grouped around the room, countless beer bottles, boring brown everyday objects, sit as specimens. Only one tiny patch of broken glass dangers the floor. All the other shards of intoxicated evidence are reconstructed in their sip-able shape and held together with the Midas touch.

This touch is called Kintsugi, a Chinese technique that dates back to the 15th century. Using pulverised, 24-carat gold leaf, mixed in with gum Arabic medium, shellac and putty, Healy and Cordeiro map opulent webs to secure each object. The gold, as it trickles down the surface of the bottle like sacred healing syrup, has a hypnotic effect on the eyes.

The installation invites a layered viewing experience. Initially, you are tempted to take part in this alcohol fuelled communal affair but as you descend closer and closer to each bottle and discover its charm and individuality, your experience becomes more intimate and thoughtful.

There is a calmness and silence in the space, which challenges the typically raucous nature of alcohol and destructive behaviour. The audience is encouraged to reflect on the act of getting sideways and the process in which the mind and body go through in order to mend itself.

In the back of the gallery, two video works and three prints by Iranian artists Shay Mazloom pull on all your bodily senses and emotions. Erasing colour, distorting focus and playing with shadow, Mazloom strips herself of religious conditioning and exposes her body as a surface for the confronting, contentious and curious deconstruction and construction of female identity.

Blank Surface, a performance with video installation and sounds, illuminates the female figure with oppressive language. Standing still and breathless, each body part is stamped and boarded. The conversation between Mazloom and the audience is sterile and obvious. What is presented is beautifully aggressive, the text moving to
create an uncomfortable and politically potent experience.

Clair Healy and Sean Cordeiro’s installation and Mazloom’s works compliment each other. Both ask to think about your body and mind, how it can be segmented, isolated, redefined and re-erected.

This provocative exhibition is part of Art Month.

Until 2 April
Gallery Barry Keldoulis
285 Young Street
Waterloo, Sydney


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