NGV Australia Analysis
Gallery: NGV Australia, Ground Level, NGV Design Studio
Exhibition: Body Architect
Artist: Lucy McRae
The Space: McRaes colour digital images and videos were displayed on various sizes of LED screens and projector. The gallery itself had a light and minimalist scheme, with pastel pink and white walls in the main areas, divided up by shear white curtains. Some works were displayed collectively as mini series, others individually. The video pieces which had sound were sectioned off by curtains with the sound provided by overhead speakers or the use of headphones to allow the viewer to fully immerse themselves into the work.
Concepts and Themes: The main concept which was conveyed in McRaes work were about the “future of the human race: how we build resilience, how we respond to extreme conditions”. To express this, she focused on themes of “human biology, physical design, modification of emotions, molecular biology and technology” and how far the human body can go to test the limits of the who we are.
Artwork: Body Talk, album cover image, 2010 (inkjet print)
“Body Talk” is the album cover image which McRae commissioned for artist Robyn’s album in 2010. the portrait orientated image features Robyn wearing minimal white lycra lace shorts and top with strings of square images hanging on and around her, like a bitmap. These squares feature Robyn when combined, appearing abstract-like due to their pixel like appearance. Her actual eyes have a fixed gaze directly on the lens and she poses slightly, hands out to the side and hips apart, as if she is bracing herself slightly. By overlaying the pixel images around her, it appears to look like a double exposure of her, with her body in slightly different positions.
My Views on the work:
When I first saw this piece of McRaes work, I was instantly drawn into what looked like a minimalist photograph, however after looking at it longer, it entailed much more detail. The use of the square images which surround Robyns body emphasises the notion that a still body has the ability to appear moving, especially with the double exposure-like qualities of the image. The one thing that really drew me into the image was the straight on gaze of Robyns eyes with the camera. This style of photograph haas always appealed to me as it intentionally makes the viewer feel a connection with the subject. Like many of McRaes other pieces, the colour palette of this piece is neutral and minimal, which I am naturally drawn to aesthetically.