Thursday, July 17, 2008

Polly Borland @ Murray White

What do Bill Henson's teenage models do when they grow up? Some open their own art galleries showcasing exhibitions of images of breasts and va-jay-jays. A case in point, Murray White, the Melbourne hipster - and Christopher Walken-lookalike - behind the glamorous contemporary art gallery, Murray White Room.

White's latest show Polly Borland - Bunny opens tomorrow.

It's a new exhibition of images by the Melbourne-born, London-based photographer Polly Borland - and which runs concurrently to an exhibition on now at London's Michael Hoppen Contemporary gallery.

On Saturday Borland was the cover story of The Independent's weekend magazine:

Her work hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London and has featured in publications ranging from The Independent to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Face, Dazed and Confused and British Vogue. Borland has also shot album covers for Nick Cave and Goldfrapp.

Based in the UK since 1989, Borland's portraits have included Sir Kingsley Amis, Cate Blanchett and the Queen. But she is better-known for some of her more controversial work, which includes studies of the Russian sex industry after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Californian Cryonicists and the 'Baby' series - which looks at fetishists who like to dress up as babies.

'Bunny' is a series of images of 6'3" tall British actress Gwendoline Christie.

All up there are 52 images in the project - Hoppen is showing 30 in London and White, 26 - with six prints available globally of each.

The entire collection of images is showcased in an accompanying book published by Damien Hirst's imprint, Other Criteria, with words from British writer Will Self and Nick Cave. According to this blog, Hirst has purchased a print of every image in the exhibition.

Given his delicate sensibilities over the Henson affair however, I'm not sure that Kevin Rudd will be rushing out to buy many of the images.

Nor indeed is Rudd likely to be purchasing a copy of the companion book - in which this poem penned by Cave appears opposite an image (below) of, not to put too fine a point on it, a twat:

“The honeyed Bunny with pudding warm
Full of fingers up to her arm
And streaming in her darling pants a gout of goo
Went at it the way I imagine most girls do
As they picture big-balled fuck-poles
Hammering their holes
They come”.

White opened his gallery two years ago. Previously he was assistant curator and registrar of collections at Melbourne's Heide Museum of Modern Art and manager at Melbourne's Australian Galleries.

Shows to date have featured local and international names such as Sangeeta Sandraseger, Alex Pittendrigh, Tony Clark, Judith Van Heeren, Eliza Hutchison, Sally Ross and Anne-Marie May.

According to White however, his shows have yet to generate a single critical review in the Australian daily arts media - who "only ever seem interested in talking about Sidney Nolan".

"They [the mainstream press] have dropped the ball on contemporary art" White told me today. "The publications have also dropped the ball on the visual arts. They’ve almost eliminated visual arts space – it's just so limited considering what [coverage] literature and the performing arts receive, they have pages and pages. The visual arts is absolutely marginalised at the moment, contemporary or otherwise".

Given Borland's pulling power - and the fact that The Sydney Morning Herald has now picked up not two, but three, stories initially done by this blog - perhaps White's luck is about to change.

Polly Borland - Bunny
18th July - 23rd August
Murray White Room
Sargood Lane (off Exhibition Street)
1/Untitled III 2004-05 Fujicolour crystal archive print © Polly Borland
2/Untitled XI 2004-05 Fujicolour crystal archive print © Polly Borland
3/Untitled V 2004-05 Fujicolour crystal archive print © Polly Borland
Courtesy the artist and Murray White Room


Anonymous said...

Patty, I don't know if you would have got that post up on Fullychic. Loving frockwriter.


Patty Huntington said...

Stamos!!! I've missed you

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