RE/GENDERED PERFORMANCES

Together with the girls, uh we mean guys, from 4EVAMORE, Platform was lucky enough to have Ghetto Pussy (Anastasia Zaravinos & Byron St John), and the MC talents of Mzzz Erin Tasmania Agent Cleave, Godzilla & Mummy Complex at our Midsumma opening. Here are just a few of the pics.







MONIKA TICHACEK



Monika Tichacek
Lineage of The Divine
Video Still
© 2003

“I saw Amanda Lepore for the first time in New York in late 2000. I was instantly fascinated by her unreal perfection. She was a living breathing pin-up, her gender ambiguous, however obvious that no one could be born in that body. I have used her body and its interventions to represent a complex set of issues - freedom, expression, possibility, mutation, and desire. Cultural rules and restrictions are discarded, normality and order seem to manifest within a hovering uneasiness.”

Monika Tichacek lives and works in Sydney and is represented by Karen Woodbury Gallery (Melbourne). Her recent solo exhibition, The Shadowers (2005) was exhibited at Artspace (Sydney), CACSA (Adelaide), and the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane).

TEJAL SHAH (INDIA)





Tejal Shah with Marco Paulo Rolla (Brasil)
Trans Video Stills
Dual channel video installation
12 min, colour, sound, 2004-5

The beard as a macho statement. Jewellery and make-up constructing the female. Two masks that work as a cliché sign of gender for society. What happens when male and female cross these borders? Using video and performance, we construct the trans –formation, -mutation, -figuration, from one gender to its opposite.”

Tejal Shah lives and works in Bombay, India. She has exhibited widely in museums, galleries and film festivals including; Tate Modern (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Brooklyn Museum (New York) and National Gallery of Modern Art (Bombay). Visit Shah's website here.

JAKE WOTHERSPOON



Jake Wotherspoon
Opening Performance
artist, glue, hair collection, electric fan
variable dimensions
© 2010

Jake Wotherspoon’s work questions the restraints that society has placed upon both the male and female in relation to bodily hair. Through affixing facial hair to portraits of female models, the artist creates a partial collapse between two genders. He morphs together masculine and feminine characteristics within one body, creating figures that do not conform to the assumptions made about the morphological characteristics of female or male bodies, but instead draw attention to our binary system of gender.

Jake Wotherspoon is a Melbourne based artist who completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) at VCA in 2009. He was the winner of the 2008 CCP Kodak Salon and has exhibited internationally and at Seventh Gallery, Tape Projects and CCP.

DREW PETTIFER



Drew Pettifer
Drip Painting
Paint over c-type photograph
variable dimensions
© 2010

Drew Pettifer’s new series Fluid directly explores the concept of ‘fluid gender’. It transgresses the expected gender boundaries of ‘male’ by shifting the fetishised gaze onto a male body, rather than the female one. Viscous, satin black gloss acrylic paint has been poured over photographs of the male nude, obscuring each subject’s genitals until it pools across the bottom of the cabinet. These drips add an abject quality to the male nude, alluding to bodily fluids and leaking bodies. The deliberate obscuring of the genitals in these works also goes some way towards de-gendering the subject; the main signifier of gender in the naked body is concealed.

Drew Pettifer is a Melbourne based artist and curator. Recent solo exhbitions include You are the Light at The Counihan Gallery In Brunswick (2009), The Decisive Moment at Kings ARI (2009) and Cake boys: photographs in two series at Blindside ARI (2008). See more at: www.drewpettifer.com

FRAN BARRETT, KATE BLACKMORE, ANASTASIA ZARAVINOS



Fran Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Anastasia Zaravinos
Drag Acts
Video Still
© 2010

Drag Acts is a collaboration between three artists: Fran Barrett, Kate Blackmore and Anastasia Zaravinos. Drag Acts explores the spectacular and absurd qualities of drag. The work confuses theatrical spectacle with darker more meditative moments in order to investigate the mechanisms behind the act.

Fran Barrett, Kate Blackmore and Anastasia Zaravinos live and work in Sydney. Fran and Kate are both members of the performance collaboration Brown Council and are directors of Serial Space, Sydney. Anastasia has exhibited her video work at numerous Sydney and regional galleries and is a member of Ghetto Pussy.

LIAM BENSON



Liam Benson
Coat of Arms
C-type photograph
90 x 120 cm

Liam Benson is a practicing performance artist. He applies this foundation to a variety of mediums, primarily video and photography, not only as a means to document and present performance work, but also to experiment with interdisciplinary techniques. His work explores the slippery slope of contemporary masculinity and has a parallel interest in broader social concerns such as cultural environment, popular culture, media andlanguage, and how they influence and inform the conventions of gender roles.

Liam Benson is a Sydney based artist and has exhibited at MOP Projects, Kings ARI, Linden Centre for Contemporary arts, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Liverpool Regional Museum, Blacktown Arts Centre as well as international touring shows Designfesta: Through a Strangers Eyes, Tokyo and Gang Festival 05-06, Indonesia (both 2005). Benson has also curated shows at Depot Gallery and is one half of the performance collaboration The Motel Sisters with Naomi Oliver.

MICHELLE TRAN





Michelle Tran’s uncomfortable photographic arrangements imply ambiguous notions of gender. For Re/Gendered, a stark portrait of a Vietnamese transgendered subject is placed alongside sexually suggestive imagery of domestic interiors. Although the photographs are rooted in documentary traditions, these juxtapositions unsettle the viewer’s sense of self and work to destabilise prescribed gender identity.

Michelle Tran is currently completing her Master of Fine Art (Research) 2009 at the VCA. She has exhibited at Lindberg Contemporary Art, Sutton Gallery, Seventh Gallery and TCB. She has also won the Athenaeum Visual Art Prize in 2007. Michelle Tran is represented by Lindberg Contemporary Art.

4EVAMORE







Fresh from a world tour promoting the album ‘don’t text me like that’ the boys take on their hometown of Melbourne. Fame has its price but for now these guys are about the fans and the love they bring. 4evamore; Seth, Tyson, Ricky and Randy, are a drag boy band partway through their mission to take the world by storm. With solo albums, world tours, a movie deal and a line of scents by Calvin Klein,’ Boy Essence’ these boys will take it to the top. With a hearts of gold and boyish charm their songs talk about life and the troubles of a boy in love, and the terminal sentence of a broken heart.

GERARD O’CONNOR & MARC WASIAK



The Vivien Story, I'll make you famous baby. Hollywood stars and their stage mothers, why don't you sing for us darling. Sing for your tuppence SUGAR – Dance Darling Dance. The chameleon Vivien St James shines as the star of this series. We liked the idea of the driven star and the transsexual, yet it all began with our early obsession with beauty and glamour. We are interested in the notion of celebrity and how it originates within the domestic sphere. Like so many emerging artists, fashion designers, stars or drag queens who begin in front of the husqvarna, home is our beginning.

Gerard (photographer) and Marc (stylist) have been working in collaboration with Harry Rekas (retoucher for Large Magazine) for nearly ten years. They work predominantly in the commercial fashion industry, but also collaborate on independent photographic art projects.

LAURA CASTAGNINI

Laura Castagnini is a Melbourne based curator currently writing a thesis about contemporary feminist art. She was the 2009 Curator-in-Residence at Platform, and Producer for Tape Projects 100 Proofs exhibition for the 2010 Next Wave Festival. In 2008, she co-initiated and managed an artist run space, O Projects, and was awarded a Quarterbred artist grant and residency in Sydney. She has worked for Adelaide Fringe Festival, and for Next Wave as assistant to curator Tai Snaith for her 2008 project House Proud. Laura is also a practising artist; she holds a Bachelor of Visual Art (Painting) from Monash University and has exhibited in Australia, Italy and Japan. She is a recent recipient of an Australia Council Skills and Development Grant that will fund an internship at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, in 2010.

RE/GENDERED



Jake Wotherspoon
Fiona
photoprint with hair
© 2009

Presented by Platform as part of Midsumma 2010. Curator Laura Castagnini. Artists: Monika Tichacek (Sydney), Tejal Shah (India), Jake Wotherspoon (Melbourne), Drew Pettifer (Melbourne), Fran Barrett, Kate Blackmore & Anastasia Zaravinos (Sydney), Liam Benson (Sydney), 4evamore (Melbourne), Michelle Tran (Melbourne), Gerard O’Connor & Marc Wasiak (Melbourne).

Re/Gendered brings together a number of high profile international and Australian artists in a group exhibition that celebrates the notion of fluid or 'unstable' gender. These artists all aim to transgress and blur the boundaries of gender performance. Often using drag as a technique to destabilise identity, these diverse artists disrupt and subvert the traditional binary system of gender. In turns joyful, disturbing, and deliberately ambiguous, these artworks expose the theatricality involved in our everyday performance of gender roles.

The Opening Night will include queer drag performances from guests including Mzzz Erin Tasmania, 4evamore, Adonis, Agent Cleave, Godzilla and Mummy Complex, plus more!

OPENING: 6-9PM MONDAY 25 JANUARY


This is the final work developed by Laura Castagnini as part of her 2009 Curator In Residence with Platform. Laura will be going to the US in 2010 as part of an Australia Council funded residency with the Brooklyn Museum, New York.

FLINDERS ST STATION TURNS 100!



Above: The centenary of the VR in Melbourne in September 1954.

Curated by Jenny Davies, author of the new book Beyond The Façade, this exhibition presents decade-by-decade views depicting the many facets of the Flinders Street Station’s history through a combination of paintings, photographs, stencils and text. Presented in conjunction with artist John Bates, and industrial design student Tristan Tait, this show kicks off the celebrations in the lead up to the centenary of the station on 22 January.

This extensive historical display is divided across the twelve main cases, starting in the late 19th century when the architectural designs were mixed up with the plans for a station in India, right through to the current situation of successive government neglect and the demise of this wonderful public building.

Pre 1900s features the first award winning design by Fawcett & Ashworth. 1900s includes the construction period, Official Opening of the VRI (Victorian Railways Institute) and the opening of Flinders Street Station. 1910s examines the extensive public facilities of the Railways Institute (including a childcare centre and gym). 1920s looks at Chief Commissioner Clapp and his visionary initiatives. 1930s highlights the Children’s Nursery the work of Sister Northcott. 1940s is all about dancing & Miss Gladstone during and after the war. 1950s covers the many special events and the building of our very own Degraves Street Subway! 1960s showcases the retail history with the much loved Hearns Hobbies and City Hatters. 1970s shows a shift to strikes, unionism and turmoil and the first demolition threats. 1980s witnesses the start of the demolition with the loss of the Concourse and the famous Mirka Mora Mural. 1990s shows further deterioration of the station and surrounds. 2000s onwards presents architectural highlights and the publication of Jenny's book Beyond the Façade. The Centenary Edition Book is only available by direct mail order at this stage. The current edition is available from various bookshops throughout Melbourne. Ask your local bookstore to order stocks!

Closes Saturday 23 January 2010

TRISTAN TAIT



Tristan Tait
Flinders Street Station
stencil on board
(installation view)
© 2010

Tristan Tait currently works with painted wood mediums in order to construct stylised imagery and distinctive interpretations. His latest works are a contemporary study on the train network and the associated Flinders Street Station, considering the pathways and viewpoints from the everyday commuter. This subject matter is also of significance through a personal and reflective connection to the journey and to the metropolitan landscape. After moving to Melbourne a few years ago from country Victoria, the work epitomises vividly the influence of graffiti and stencil street art forms that are ever evident in Melbourne’s unique and extensive number of laneways. Next year Tristan will be undertaking his final year studying industrial design at RMIT University.

ROBERTA RICH



Roberta Rich
Orifice (Slow Suck Part II)
digital video stills
© 2009

Orifice (Slow Suck Part II) and Nude Thump are two video drawings using my body. I am interested in exploring awkward and confronting bodily actions and displaying them within manipulated loops of video footage. The result is an absurd, repetitious canvas that fuses a feminist visuality with an experimental, masculine soundtrack. The work is manufactured within the broader context of video-art and feminist performance but remains, at its essence, a genuine interrogation of my own female body, its socio-political location, and its function as an expressive medium in itself. Moreover, I am choosing to deliberately position my body as both a vulnerable and increasingly complex, challenging entity - as the subject of the voyeuristic gaze.

Roberta Rich recently graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Fine Art - Painting. In 2008, Roberta completed a residency in Prato, Italy, as part of Monash University's Exchange program. In 2010 she plans to continue studying at Monash University to complete a Bachelor of Fine Art - Honours.