Momentary exhibition

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Greg Neville, installation view, Momentary, Tacit Contemporary Art, 2014

Momentary is a group exhibition at Tacit Contemporary Art in Johnston St Abbotsford. It’s open until Sunday December 21. I share the gallery with colleagues (and former students) Bernadette Boundy, Sue Lock, Margot Sharman, Sally D’Orsogna and Cathy Hayward. The theme is the word Momentary, a suitable hook for a photomedia exhibition. My work is a small series of faded portraits:

John Greenleaf Whittier was a 19th century American poet and anti-slavery campaigner. Such was his fame that towns were named after him, and yet today he is largely forgotten. These images are taken from the portraits of Whittier in the six-volume complete works published in 1888, the printed engravings show him at different ages, from young to old. The dis-coloured paper and fading likenesses show the dissolving effects of age and decay, the arrow of time.

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Who is Peter Lik?

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Peter Lik, Phantom

Photographer Peter Lik is in the news for selling a photograph for 6.5 million dollars. This is two million more than the previous record-holder by Andreas Gursky.

Caution about this event is being urged in the press as Lik is not known to the auction houses who sell the million dollar photographs by Gursky, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall. The sale was private and to an anonymous buyer, in other words, not verifiable.

So who is Peter Lik? According to his website he is “world-renowned, highly awarded, and boasting a huge international following.” This modest assertion is backed up by his fourteen shops across the US, including Miami, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills, where he sells his landscapes of canyons, deserts and sunsets. Lik’s work is “commercial-picturesque”, a genre that services the tourist trade with framed prints, postcards and calendars.

He is not alone in this market, Ken Duncan follows a similar model, flogging over-saturated traditional landscapes, broadly derived from Ansel Adams’ epic style. Like Duncan, Lik is an Australian, but long a resident of Las Vegas where his simplistic visuals and boosterist marketing are a natural fit.

Peter Lik’s journey as a photographer has taken him from humble beginnings in his native Australia to the summit of international landscape photography… he decided to settle in Las Vegas, centrally located to the landscapes he loves so much. The rest is photographic history.

The mainstream art world is agog about Lik’s good fortune, so different from its own conceptual approach. But does it do any harm? Lik sells his visual pop music to an appreciative but unsophisticated public who can purchase his images at almost any price point, from $100 up to…$6.5 million. That’s pretty democratic. Try walking out of a gallery with a $100 Gursky.

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Peter Lik, Ghos

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from Peter Lik’s website

Greg Wayn at Amcor

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Greg Wayn has been photographing the Amcor demolition site, a subject made to order for his talents.

Amcor, the former paper mills next to the Yarra river, is a enormous industrial site now being demolished to create another disappointing suburban development. In the meantime, Greg has been busy recording it on its way down. It looks like a war zone.

He has used Amcor as subject matter for different photographic approaches. What you see below are single images from separate projects, each made with a different technical or visual strategy. Click on the links below to see the complete series on his Photoworks blog.

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Greg Wayn, Disappearing,’The Amcor Factory is now in the final stages of ‘disappearing’ and I have been trying out some new ways of interpreting this stage… the following ‘fluid landscapes’ are an attempt to create a more dreamlike series of images…

 

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Greg Wayn, WallsThere are very few walls left at all at the Amcor factory site and the final stage of demolition is at hand, so I felt obliged to record what was left…

 

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Greg Wayn, B&W Images

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Greg Wayn, Last Days‘Freeform’ panoramas taken in what remains of the Amcor Factory site. It has been hard to make these work as successfully as I has wanted, but I think it is still worth making images for something that is disappearing so quickly and it has been such a dominant part of Alphington’s history…

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