togther Brian Tucker and Luke Roberts December 08

SIX OF THE BEST:APT6

together again Nat (right) & Ali (left)

Saturday. Having redrawn the Asia Pacific boundaries to include Iran and Turkey the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art dives headfirst into APT6. Overall, it seems to be a  leaner but not necessarily meaner APT that like all large visual arts spectcales of its kind has its ups and downs. Lots of people should be traveling to Brisbane for this exhibition so here’s some advice. Give yourself plenty of time for the video and film works because there is no point in showing these works if the audience isn’t looking. That said, video is not the strong point of this APT. Obvious bias  and contradictions declared but … highlights appear to be Tracey Moffatt’s (Australia) video pastiche Other which focusses on race and sexuality in film. Talk about issues! Like her new series of deep north photographs Plantation, Other is an absolute CRACKER! Another of the most talked about works  is Kohei Nawa’s (Japan) famous PixCell-Elk#2 in which she has covered a taxidermied beast with glass balls of varying sizes. Stag-gering. Alexandra Sanderson (pictured above) described Kibong Rhee’s rotating willow in the mist as “sickeningly beautiful”. Meant in the nicest possible way poor Ali must have been struggling for words, and that’s unusual. Also in the impossible beauty zone is Reuben Paterson’s (New Zealand) giant glitter painting Whakapapa: get down on your knees and for anyone able to get up again … there’s much, much more. India sent a strong team this year, firstly with Thukral and Tagra. It would be unfair to say they were an Indian version of Gilbert and George and that just slipped out. Actually there are many marked differences with this technically talented duo for whom conceptualism is fun and satire is effortless. Subhod Gupta also does India proud with his depressingly brilliant mushroom cloud of towering detritus and the copper motorcycles based on those used by the British during the Raj are splendid. Speaking of mushrooms, Charwei Tsai (Taiwan) worked with monks to inscribe the Buddhist prajnaparamita onto living fungi for Mushroom mantra.  Positively hallucinogenic!  Then there is DAMP our dear friends from Melbourne who have presented a plinth. A plinth you say … but its no ordinary plinth. Loved the paintings of the late Svay Ken (Cambodia) with moral and spiritual advice for young Cambodians … that might also be relevant for a few old Australians! It was party central in Brisvegas as usual and Friday was the IMA annual members cocktail party where  the members appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely. For APT6 there was a more modest “celebration” replacing the enormous piss ups of yore and the ageing paparazzi had a lovely time in this more manageable environment.  But what did they learn … the size of the party doesn’t matter when it comes hangovers (either).

Brian Tucker and Luke Roberts together (IMA)

kiwi gold Lisa Reihana, Reuben Paterson and James Pinker (GOMA)

EXTRA kiwi gold Lonnie Hutchinson and Mel (GOMA) 

crazy pic of Melbourne beauties Mark Feary and Sylvie Christophe (GOMA)