Fly me to the Moon

Luke Devine, Lorraine Heller-Nicholas and Tatjana Plitt

Art Exhibition previously on in Melbourne precinct, Victoria, Australia. Published by anonymous on Friday 21 March 2008. Thursday 10 April 2008 to Saturday 26 April 2008. Opening Thursday 10 April 2008 6 - 8pm .

Fly me to the Moon image

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Fly Me to the Moon is a heady dive into the unknown waters of love and passion. A tentative testing of the waters will only reveal surface qualities. The clarity, temperature, depth, and danger are only to be discovered on immersion. Whether we sink or swim, doggy paddle, achieve victory laps, or succumb to an exquisite end, cannot be known without first getting thoroughly wet.

Fly me to the Moon explores a vast breadth of emotions and behaviours romantic love evokes in those who experience it. Using video, drawing and photography, artists Luke Devine, Lorraine Heller-Nicholas and Tatjana Plitt examine love’s pervasive illusions, inescapable power struggles and crimes committed its name, to reconsider its allure and destructive potential.

When love is doomed, or appears to be and together the couple overcome whatever stands in their way, it is romantic. The most romantic stories of literature, film, history, love songs etc all play out in this way. Lorraine Heller-Nicholas presents portraits of a different kind of story. Here the opposition to love comes from one of the individuals inside the couple. Someone wants to leave, or is cheating, or is insanely jealous. The romantic image of dying for love changes dramatically when love is not reciprocated and the news story that results is that of a crime of passion. Two narratives are presented. These stories have everything the most romantic stories have, except for the love to be balanced in the relationship and in this they become anti-love stories.

Luke Devine is interested in inverting the traditional gender roles to provoke a dialogue about the power matrix within a relationship. This work is driven by the idea that our sex doesn’t necessarily dictate the gender roles we assume with our partners.
Using Listerine strips (small blue strips of dehydrated strips of Listerine) as the vehicle for love and affection, the woman mediates the relationship. She is recast in the provider role the patriarchy sees traditionally reserved for the male as she offers the man the sustenance he requires. As the video progresses his desire for the strips intensifies, thus he is rendered increasingly subordinate. The physique of the woman measured against that of the diminutive man further re-enforces the idea that she is in control.
It’s an oedipal relationship, the man pawing at the woman much in the same way child paws at its mother, a disconcerting combination of maternal dynamics subverted by the way the woman continually penetrates the mans mouth with her fingers. The imagery is seductive, and yet it threatens the status of white male heterosexuals as hermetically sealed units who won’t be compromised.

Tatjana Plitt has created a series of photographs that recreate the imaginary world of ‘Mills and Boon,’ using real couples who strike a romantic pose in their own domestic environments. In this reconstruction of the climactic, romantic moment, their gestures become performance, their personal belongings become props; artifice in the simulation of a shared, manufactured dream.
What role do performance and simulation play in the “real” romantic moment? Are the emotions evoked by the vicarious experience of the romantic moment (through the consumption of a narrative) more “real” than the actual experience of the romantic moment?
Popular romance novels address real problems and tensions in their reader’s relationships, functioning as a site for the provocation and neutralisation of anxieties, fears and desires. Blaze weaves the contemporary narratives of its subjects, with their real anxieties and desires, into the world of Mills and Boon…… So that the mundane, utopian and ridiculous collide.

Location

Blindside Artist Run Space Inc
Nicholas Building
Level 7 Room 14
37 Swanston Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
www.blindside.org.au

Opening : 10 April 6 – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: 10 – 26 April. Thurs – Sat 12 – 6