six orbits around the blue moon

Darren Sylvester / James Lynch / Justine Khamara / Nadine Christensen / Robert Vinnicombe / Tony Garifalakis

  • 24 Aug - 16 Sept, 2005
  • curated by Nadine Christensen and James Lynch

Six orbits around the blue moon had to happen fast and living and working in Melbourne alongside artists Tony Garifalakis, Robert Vinnicombe, Justine Khamara and Darren Sylvester allowed us to hit the ground running. Our starting point was with works we had seen recently that made us look again, works we admired, loved, affected us. The artists familiarity and overlapping cycles of activities – professional, personal and co-incidental made us aware of ideas relating to proximity, distance and the pleasure of looking, and that’s what we have run with here.

The artists in Six orbits around the blue moon are restless. They’re interested in the ‘Right to Escape’; in orbiting, double takes, perceptual spasms, nomadic tendencies and in going to sleep (and waking up in new places).

In the video Don’t lose yourself in tomorrow by artist, designer and writer Darren Sylvester a young boy preparing for sleep is surrounded by an army of Pikachu characters which have seemingly come to life with an inner glow. The video enacts a kind of Speilbergian narrative but in fact, it is based on the real life story where thousands of Japanese youth incurred epileptic seizures induced by watching an episode of the TV series Pokemon. The bedroom and dreams of the young boy are haunted or invaded by other worldly forces. In a pattern of waking up and going back to sleep the young boy is hypnotized, or is in control of, psychedelic patterns that appear on a computer screen and an electric glow that emanates from a window.

Haunted figures, zombies, bashed up faces, death metal characters, skin heads and other nihilists are the life long inhabitants of the world of artist Tony Garifalakis. In fact he revels in their artifice, make-up and costumes. Sourced from magazine culture, design and horror their all dressed up with nowhere to go. In cheap photocopied black and white posters, wall drawings and installations he throws fashions’ fascination with death on its head by revealing these spectacles as a baroque fetish and by foregrounding our eternal attraction and compulsion to the death wish. One man nihilistic front is a purple electric noose that has lights running up and down its length. There is more than life in that noose, it’s a party.

Looking at some of the recent pictures by James Lynch is a bit like going to a garage sale where, after an exciting rummage through all the curious and odds and ends you find exactly what your after. Debris from rambling dreams, memories and left over bits of the everyday toss up all sorts of jumble from your mind. Layers of overlapping cut out pictures congregate in stage like settings and the figures, props and backdrops are poised, ready for ‘action’.

Nadine Christensen and James Lynch