Thursday, August 9, 2012

The First White Gallery

by Kylie Eastley

Anything Can Break is an installation by Pinaree Sanpitak from Thailand. This work draws you into the white room just inside the first floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Hanging from the ceiling are a collection of hundreds of handmade silver paper boxes and blown glass bulbs. Individually they are fragile, but en masse they create an imposing structure that hangs above you like a storm cloud or an alien spaceship.

It is imposing and slightly ominous, but this is broken by the sounds that are triggered as you walk under sensors placed within particular boxes. There is a real joy in finding these and the types of sounds evoke euphoria and balance the weight of what hangs above.  Sounds echo through me and we, me and the other visitors, become integral to this work. It is crisp, beautiful, warm and inviting. I could have stayed in the room for quite a while.

Along the wall is the work of Alwar Balasubramaniam titled Nothing From My Hands, 2011. White, thick and cement-like eruptions punching out of the white walls. The distorted shapes and curves create shadows and characters that give the impression of busting out, reaching out, pulling, twisting and tension. They are tactile and meld beautifully into the wall.

The two works sit well within the space and have been well executed. Well placed lighting compliments both and add to the sense of movement. They are a welcoming and easy introduction to the Biennale and invite me to revisit.

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