Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Muti Gallery, Milpark

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Service: * * *
Food: N/A
Ambience: * * * *
Babe Count: * * * * *

Aryan Kaganof's exhibition is coming down tonight, and he's having a ritual and a party to celebrate the exhibition. Apart from being a brilliant artist and a brilliant filmmaker, Aryan is also a genius in performance art.

The lights dim. The gallery is crammed with about 200 people, all crammed into the tiny space clutching glasses of wine and bottles of Spin.

Aryan, wearing a defaced old South African Defence Force Jacket, and a face stenciled with silver spray paint, emerges from the shadows and approaches one of his paintings. He grasps it by the sides, and declaims the entire Hebrew alphabet in a New York rabbi accent. Guto Bussab, the gallery owner, severs the cables tethering the huge canvas to the wall.

Aryan moves to the next painting. "Aleph bet gimmel daled hey nun..." he chants, his voice piercing the dark. Snip. Snip. And the painting is down. He does this a few times, and moves to the last painting. It's the one that can be deciphered as "Murder Derrida". The way the painting works is the that word "MURDER" is painted on the canvas, while the letters "RIDA" are painted on the wall outside the frame. After Guto snips the tethers, the painting falls away to reveal the word "MURDER" painted on the wall.

Suddenly, a video projector starts, and one image gets added -- the words "THE" and "MYSTERY", forming the phrase, "The Murder Mystery". Aryan leaps at the wall with a black marker pen, and starts tracing the outlines of the new words. Loud, dischordant, thrilling music plays.

It's not clear whether Aryan will complete the outlining process before the image disappears. And this is part of his magic as a performance artist. By the time he gets to the second letter "Y" of "MYSTERY", nobody in the gallery is breathing. They're riveted. Will he make it? Will he suffer humiliation if he doesn't? What's gonna happen?

Of course, NOTHING's gonna happen. It's just that he's worked the crowd.

He finishes, JUST as the music stops, and the first of his new films starts showing over "The Murder Mystery" on the wall.

The text beneath the picture is a wanky gimmick. But with Aryan's theatrics, AND the quality of the short films, AND the nailbiting soundtracks, AND the knowledge that Aryan is ACTUALLY an authentic genius, the wankiness is overlooked, and the audience is able to add meaning to the films because of the underlying text.

I don't claim him to be a genius lightly. I've had long chats with this fellow. And I've watched the subtlety of his method at work. This guy plays chess, and he's ten moves ahead of anyone else. (And if you MUST appeal to authority in order to be convinced, do a search on ARYAN KAGANOF and IAN KERKHOF, and you'll find that he's got some important things to say.)

The performance ends, and people start to mingle.One of the seven erotic artworks of mine the Gordon Froud will be showing on The Christmas Box show at the Gordart Gallery, 78 Third Ave, Melville until 24 December 2004.

Gordon Froud is present. He and Diane Victor have been babes for years and years. I'm privileged to have a Diane Victor etching on my wall. And I also have the honour of having a Gordon Froud sculpture on my wall. "Hey Gordon," I say.

"Roy!" he says. "Are you coming to my gallery ever?"

I'm guilty of not having gone to his place in Melville. He's in Third Avenue, in what used to be the Thompson Gallery. For some reason, I just haven't made it there. Eeeek. "I apologise," I say.

"Well, come on Sunday," he says. "Pity you haven't visited before, cos your work might have been up at Sunday's opening." He hauls out a pamphlet for the "10 X 10 cm" exhibition, The Christmas Box show. A bunch of artists all make little artworks that are affordable, and sell them off the wall as a group exhibition.

"I've got some erotica printed out that I can give you," I say. I take out my palmtop, and show him one of the images.

"Yes!" he says. "Bring them tomorrow! We've got very little erotica on the show. Excellent!"

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I have really found it difficult to find the information I am looking for using the blog search. This is a very different world that search engine results. Regardless, I did enjoy reading your post.

    --Best of luck,
    video projector rental toronto video projector rental los angeles


Thanks for your comment!