You know that look a dog gets when you fein throwing a ball for it to fetch and it has no idea what is going on? That is the same look that my boyfriend gave me when I asked if we could go to the Anish Kapoor Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art a few weeks ago. “What’s an Anish Kapoor?” he asks. Attempting to convince him with, “Babe, it’s full of funny mirrors like at Luna Park, it’ll be fun!” my attempt failed and our run at the exhibition was lost.
It wasn’t until Sunday of the Easter long weekend that he did something to very much annoy me, meaning that he had to come up with a plan quick-smart to make up for whatever it was that he had done. “What about we go to that art thing you wanted to go to, tomorrow?”
The guy is good. Dog house averted.
I love The Rocks. It’s not often that I get to them. Every time I end up there it seems to be pouring with rain. Dark, dingy streets and rain just don’t mix, so when I find myself there on such a beautiful day as Monday was, I have to take it all in. I love the angle on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as you look up at it from George Street in The Rocks. It seems so old-timey and as though we’re in the era of when it was being built – except beside Burberry and Louis Vuitton stores.
I hadn’t been to the MCA since high school which is very naughty of me, so it was my first experience following the recent renovations. Outstanding. Truly world class. I love galleries. They take me straight back to my holidays in Europe and New York. Last time I was in London I went to the Tate Modern twice in one week. I could spend houuuurrsss at the MoMA in New York. Seriously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, liquidise it and hook it to my veins. Before we even entered the MCA, I was jumping out of my skin excited to get that feeling back.
The Anish Kapoor Exhibition was separated into two different areas of the gallery, namely because the first sculpture that you’re invited to see takes up the space of my entire apartment….times two. My Red Homeland (2003) involves a humungous wax installation that if you didn’t read the program correctly, some (me) might actually mistake it for huge piles of meat as you walk into the room. With a slowly turning sledge-hammer-shaped object scraping this red wine coloured wax to the sides, the sculpture “replicates the role of the artist” blah blah blah – it was awesome. The whole room smelt like a massive wax candle. I felt like we should have lit a wick in the middle of the sculpture, poured a glass and turned on some Barry White, alas, I don’t think the art-crazed hipsters in the room would have thought it was ironic enough, so I didn’t.
For the past few weeks our Instagram and Facebook pages have been clogged with photos of everyone’s reflections in Kapoor’s mirror sculptures and now, it was time for my revenge. Click, click, click. We photographed the crap out of ourselves in all the different mirror pieces. That is not to say that we didn’t stop to smell the roses at the same time. These creations were mind-boggling. Half the time you couldn’t even tell if the piece was 3D or if it was flat. The mirror pieces had me seeing a 100% different view to Boyf and he was standing a mere centimetre away from me. Ron Burgandy’s, “It’s an optical illusion” sprang to mind more than once. There were plenty of varying representations of Kapoor’s work as well as the mirrors including 1000 Names (1981) which reminded me of lego for some reason, which is odd because it’s nothing like lego at all (I think it was the colours). Memory (2008) which took up an entire room of the gallery, looking like a huge submarine part or giant hand grenade. A white mound in the wall which prompted a, “Boob!” from Boyf and a large stone sculpture which I won’t even pretend to understand which prompted a Donkey from Shrek line of, “That is a nice boulder” from him as well (I’m giving him a bad wrap but I can tell he enjoyed it – don’t tell anyone though). My most loved installation however, wasn’t inside the gallery. Some of you may have noticed a huge mirror/steel disk standing outside the MCA recently, well, it’s an Anish Kapoor creation. Sky Mirror (2006) was in the most perfect spot for a piece of its sort. Reflecting blue Sydney skies – what more could it ask for?
We took the opportunity to wander the other rooms of the MCA as well. I noticed a room dedicated to our fair city – a cute little homage to the city that the gallery stands in . Some artworks you look at around the gallery bring out the biggest “WTF” faces from you – but that is what art is for after all – reaction and instinct (my high school art teacher is so giving me an A+ for that right now). But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We walked out of the back entrance onto Circular Quay and bid the MCA adieu. Until the next international exhibition that I drag my boyfriend to, old friend…