Biennial, not biannual

I didn’t see the last Melbourne Art Fair (in 2006) – I was new to Melbourne then, still gawping at laneways and the Manchester Unity building and trying not to get run over by trams – but on Saturday afternoon I passed on The Dark Knight and spent a couple of hours amongst palpitating art lovers, lip-licking collectors and fed-up venue staff.

The fair generates a lot of hype, as you’ve probably noticed. Statistics are flying – how many galleries will be represented? How many artists? How many dollars will be forked over and champagne glasses clinked? How many metres high is that Humvee?

I am incapable of processing such figures, let alone repeating them. Instead I took a photo*. That’s the Humvee, that’s the building, that’s the familiar format of islands of art floating on white walls, repeated en masse. It goes left and right too, on two levels.

Highlights that caught my over-stimulated eyes were Zadok Ben-David’s intricate, delicate acid-formed stainless steel sculptures (below) and Louise Weaver’s gaudy knit-covered parrots (no photos of those, but you can almost see two of them behind the green bear in the main photo above if you look closely and squint. Sounds like Animalia, doesn’t it?). There were dozens more, which my post-weekend brain can’t process right now, but I’ll endeavour to drop some more names from the contemporary art world soon. Stay tuned.

Above and below: Zadok Ben-David’s sculptures, at the Annandale Galleries stand.
The ones above are painted black on one side and coloured on the other – the back of the display case is a mirror.

Make a note in your diary to make a note in your next diary for the 2010 fair.

Melbourne Art Fair
Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton
30 July – 3 August 2008
Next one will be some time in 2010.

Zadok Ben-David at Annandale Galleries

Louise Weaver at the Darren Knight Gallery

:: Kate ::

*Rest assured, all photos were OK’d by aforementioned bored venue staff. I wasn’t a sneaky art-stealing photographer.

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