So Wrong in Wrongtown

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Wednesday 18 August 2010.

Rendezvous in Wrongtown was one of the most fun exhibitions I’ve ever been to, if you can call wooden floorboards smashed apart to save the sexually abused daughter in the basement “fun”.

A one-day only event curated by Theresa Harrison, Tai Snaith and Vexta, the show brought together 25 artists who each created installations in a soon-to-be-demolished house.

The premise of the exhibition was a social excursion by Melbourne’s indie-hip ‘Northsiders’ to the conservative, wealthy ‘South Side’ of the river, and the social divide couldn’t have been more pronounced than it was for the six hundred or so who ventured to the venue.

Immediately painful to all was the fact that the house being destroyed-in-the-name-of-art was of a much higher quality than most of the housing the Northsider artists, students, unemployed and immigrant communities could ever hope to live in.

Jealousy aside, the curators’ choice of a house as a recyclable material was amusing, as were many of the intensely disturbing installations in the house, like the dead girl in the bath, the perhaps genuinely senile ‘Nanna’ who respectively spoke to all of the hundreds of grand children who picked up the Nanna phone that day, a room leaking with ‘The Stuff’, and the fountain of glittery-sewerage decorating the front yard.

Most challenging of all for me was a completely dark tunnel-room only one-person wide, the sides grottied with stagnant cement, which wove you through to the kitchen sink. When you reached the sink, you realised that you were inside the drain and the rest of the world was outside the sink where the drain would normally be. The suffocating intensity of that drain-hole was bad enough, but they had to add the sound of a flushing toilet to further complicate your predicament down the drain. Your experience in the drain was then captured on video and displayed to an amused audience in the next room, further adding to the humiliation. Charming!

Miniature ‘Sink Hole’ in the back yard.

Kudos to white rabbit beer.

Murray Galbraith
Floorboards smashed with girl sleeping- Ammon and Andrew from UVM
Girl in bath- Peta and Fonu from UVM (Urban Village Melbourne)
The leaking room with popcorn and hundreds and thousands- Hotham Street Ladies
Nonna on phone- Danae Valenza
Dark tunnel/sink hole- Andy Hutson
Corresponding sink hole outside- Andy Hutson