Review: Benevolent Terrorist Siege at Neon Parc

Benevolent Terrorist Siege at Neon Parc

Lane Cormick, Cook Mustard Beale Swan

To be honest I haven’t even seen this show. I only went to the opening (an hour late) and even then I didn’t actually go into the gallery. It wasn’t my fault, it was because terrorists had taken over Neon Parc and they weren’t letting anyone in.  You could see them through the Venetian blinds, all wearing white t-shirts and balaclavas. Every now and then they would fling freshly inked artworks out of the windows. The designs on these artworks ranged from stripes to phrases to footprints and were invariably run over by passing cars before being souvenired by the numerous art lovers gathering on the opposite footpath.
It was possible to communicate with the occupying terrorists and even to make demands for beer from them. They would generously lob taped up cans which consequently sprayed everywhere on opening.
There were two canvases attached at the top to lengths of wood that protruded out of the first floor gallery windows. These giant abstract paintings of the Yamaha logo (one black on white, the other white on black) were hung, unstretched like giant banners over the narrow laneway. The constant traffic from the neighbouring car park meant that increasingly disgruntled drivers had to pass through the paintings. Their horn blasts were countered with derisive jeers from the crowd.
I overheard other innocent commuters on their mobile phones saying that they would be late because they had to get through some sort of protest. Protest? This lazy appraisal sadly reveals the paucity of the average punter’s ability to recognise art when it bites them on the arse. This was clearly capital A Art at it’s entertaining best. Consider the evidence, on one side of the street through top floor windows we see terrorists throwing ping pong balls, flaming works on paper and faux masturbating; on the other side, filling a tilt slab shelter, a crowd of people randomly cheering, drinking beer and loving every minute. The glorious, pointless absurdity of it all was profoundly exhilarating in that inexplicable way that only art can make you feel. I felt it. I was there.

Lane Cormick, Cook Mustard Beale Swan
2 - 26 April 2008
Neon Parc
1/53 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000
Wednesday - Saturday12 - 6PM

By Tony Lloyd

Tony Lloyd

Tony Lloyd has worked variously as an apprentice printer, a bank teller, a designer of blackjack mats for illegal casinos, a gardener, a barman, a telemarketer, a photocopyist, a research assistant’s assistant, a teacher and an actor in Thai music videos. He is currently an Artist and shows regularly in Melbourne, Sydney and Amsterdam. He has work in public and private collections in Australia, Europe, Japan and the U.S. Tony Lloyd lives and works in Melbourne.