Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Circus Moves On

Ten minutes before I was supposed to check out of my room (pictured above) at the Marriott in Melbourne, my clothes, art materials, and paperwork were still strewn across the bed, floor and desk and I was immersed in e-mailing and making phone calls. Thirty minutes later, I was packed and loading up my truck for another day of meetings around the city. I'll stay at my father's home tonight before driving back to Sydney tomorrow, in the late afternoon.
I've had to fight the urge to head back today. I've spent a lot of time travelling during the past year, a lot of time away from the cosy, solitary comfort zone that I've created in my home and studio. Now I'm road-worn and tired. It's been wonderful to catch up with a few friends and favorite collectors but I've had my fill of company. I long to be alone and at work again. I have two other shows in the next nine months, in Sydney and Tokyo, and they will need as much – maybe more – attention than this last at MARS Gallery.
I'm giving a lot of thought to how (and what) I exhibit in the future. I'm convinced that using a commercial space, even in the occasional, non-binding, self-producing way that I do, is ultimately self-defeating for me. I invest a lot financially, logistically and personally into each of my exhibitions – this was apparent to everyone at MARS on Thursday night – but too often traditional galleries adopt what marketers refer to as the "launch and abandon" strategy when it comes to promoting and selling art: after a showy, well-publicised opening, there's no follow-up at all – let alone an energetic, well-plotted campaign – for the next three or four weeks.
I savour the very close, communicative, individualised relationship that online media enable me to maintain with everyone, from collectors to school kids, who has an interest in my work. But I want to adapt elements of that to the 'real world'. Next time I have an exhibition, I want to to draw people deeper into it over its entire duration, not just its opening night, laying the foundation for a closer, 'lifetime' relationship with me, as the artist, and the evolution of the work.
By the way, there's a very thoughtful, well written review of PORNO at Brian Ward's Melbourne-centric Fitzroyalty blog. Brian sees through the show's superficial controversies and focusses on some of the intellectual paradoxes within the work. His observations of the quite different emotional effects the colour and monochrome photographs exerted on viewers at the opening are also intriguing.

1 comment:

Matthew Rose said...

Hi Hazel Dooney,

Just discovered your work via a post from the Art News blog. I appreciate your honesty and directness. Bravo.

Matthew Rose / Paris, France