daniel dewar & grégory gicquel

Melbourne, June 2006. The story of an exhibition.


Longing for fishing

The 'boys' (Daniel and Grégory) have come up with an idea for the show. It's going to be an installation, about fishing and disco. Some kind of a fishing party that turns into a clubbing session.
First step: going to a fishing supplies store for inspiration. Dan and Greg are digging into the fishing rod department to search for a good-looking reels, exchanging their impressions in a language that I can't catch. I get completely fascinated with the lures department. I never thought that these tiny things could be so glossy and sparkling. Now I've got the point: it's gonna be really disco!

Dan and Greg's work would not be so interesting if they were not using materials in a completely twisted way. They have decided that the whole show will be made of ceramics. It's all about mixing undermined practices such as the hand-made, the low-tech, the subjective, with outdated and underrated techniques. There's a sort of punkish approach to them. Like you can never expect how things will be mixed. It's always a bit ahead for 'good taste'.

The invitation card to the show

Australian art is in fact also very crafty. All things that I've been seeing lately are perfectly executed hand-made pieces that rely on a sort of technical 'bravura' effect. This 'material-fetish' seems quite strange to me. From where I come we're just starting to reconsider crafts after a long long period of manufactured/ready-made artworks. And that's where Dan & Greg are coming from. They've just been fed up with the manufactured twist. Now I am wondering how they will react to an artistic context that is 'technique-friendly'. If it will generate some crisis? And what about the reaction of the local audience to their work?

Being in Melbourne

We haven't started anything and we're realizing that we have only three weeks to conceive the exhibition and create new works. Then how can we think of a project that could be confrontational and interacting with people and local culture? Some things are already pretty confronting. Like our appartment, in this tower on South Bank with a gorgious view on the whole city and its skyscrapers. We're on the 26th floor, surrounded by glass walls, minimal furniture, all black, grey, and white. We never lived in such a place before, and it feels like a bit dizzying. Just down the street, in the business district, the oversized casino is one of the only places around where you can meet people. Thousands of them gambling all day, eating in its many restaurants. Smells like fish & chips everywhere.

No time to go to have a tour in the countryside, to experience Australia's famous wilderness. After a walk in the city, we ended in the aquarium. Even if the fish & chips smell keeps following us everywhere - fish restaurants at every level! - watching the beautiful fishes from the Southern seas was just what we needed.