At The Gallery

The room was filled with people. A thick sausage of viewers coiled itself around the perimeter walls, on the inside moving very slowly, steadily, from place to place, in a predictable order and at a moderate pace, while a bit further in the pace was sometimes fast and sometimes slow, and it was jerky and bottlenecks were caused when people found that they had a good view of one of the pictures and they paused for a while until someone else who was closer closed off that view by standing in the way. A third group of people made their way about the room haphazardly, sharply springing from place to place, whenever they could see a gap. These people chose not to get into the crowd, not to become part of its predictable inexorable movement, but to stand out, independent. It was a not entirely successful strategy, but then taking this approach meant that you didn’t have strangers right on top of you, in front, behind, and on both sides, it meant you could still make your own decisions and were not forced to move just because other people were moving. It was a way of resisting being swept away with the mob.

As usually happens some patrons had paid their deposit and were wearing earphones with commentary about the exhibition running through them. These people were forced to move around the room in the same sequence as the walking tour dictated and it was this movement which decided the direction that the great mass of those in the gallery moved. But many didn’t have the earphones. Many didn’t realise there was an order. They didn’t even know the artworks had been numbered until they had already seen a few and by then they didn’t care and were prepared to swim against the tide, and this movement one way and the other, at the same time, with a steady motion at the same time as jerky and staccato movements which were sometimes surprising and always unpredictable caused a kind of agitation which made the whole scene look like a giant washing machine in the art gallery, if you could look down on it and observe it from a bird’s eye view.

It was really quite beautiful and Tegan was filming from scaffolding in the roof, above the beams, unseen by those below. She was taking photos, many many of them, and she had a camera constantly recording, and she was also taking readings from infrared equipment which she aimed to combine with the other media she was assembling and create a multi-media experience which incorporated sound and vision, still, moving, black and white, colour, and heat mapping.

Tegan didn’t fall through the roof and the fall didn’t cause a melee and bodies weren’t scattered in a haphazard and sudden fashion which distributed the colours they were wearing in strange and harmonious patterns across the floor of the gallery and the whole thing was not filmed by a number of tourists who were using their mobile phones to take video and thus found themselves as art gallery goers filming the artist who was filming the art gallery goers and the whole scene was not captured in all it’s shocking and violent glory by the machines in the roof and by people on the floor who were being watched by the machines in the roof.

No, Tegan didn’t fall. Her installation was a great success. But it could have been better.

Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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