For the Time Being

Nellie Castan Gallery, 2012

For the Time Being

Reviewed in Dancing Umbrellas, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2016

The best works have a hypnotic quality, where movement within the artwork paradoxically slows you down. Leslie Eastman's conceptual suspended tableau is a beautiful example, consisting of a plate of reflective metal, cut into concentric squares, except for a small shaft of continuity at the top and bottom where they all connect. Each of the 22 planes has been progressively twisted by about 4 degrees, so that they fan out successively until the last sits at right angles to the centre. For such a serene and contemplative work, your perception of the geometry is dislocated, because all the surfaces mirror one another, reflecting nearby works and your own image.

For the time being recalls the kinetic tradition from the 1920s and also optical works by Jesus Rafael Soto and Yaacov Agam. Similarly historical and also visually spellbinding is a work by Damiano Bertoli in his ongoing project called Continuous Moment, where a revolving disc has a combination of concentric and eccentric circles that give the illusion of rolling around within one another's orbit.

Another work of great wit and technical prowess is Taree Mackenzie's Slinky live feed. Three video cameras film three toy springs against beds of blue, green and red respectively. The image that they see is one of the RGB colours intercepted by the springs, which move upon simple armatures. The pulsing projections from each camera are finally overlaid on a single screen to yield scintillating patterns.

The electrical work of Giles Ryder is similarly animated, at times hard to look at for long but full of clever circuits. For many decades, our commercial streets have been ablaze with flashing lights; but now movement and light dance in more intimate circumstances through social media.

As if referring to the flashing new promiscuity of images on Snapchat, Minna Gilligan responds to the rapid movements and quaint narcissism of suggestive moments in a vlog.

There are 10 other artists or groups in the show, which is well-curated by Sue Cramer. They don't all have the hypnotic grandeur of Eastman nor the humour of Bassin, including works with potential, such as the performance of Gabriella Mangano & Silvana Mangano where the artists poke and toss around a flimsy bright cover without a compelling poetic rationale.

Robert Nelson, The Age, March 15, 2017