The Horse Trotted Another Couple Of Metres, Then It Stopped – Katharina Grosse

A Schwartz Carriageworks Project / Germany. Supported by the Goethe-Institut Australia

The launch on Friday Jan 5 for Carriageworks 2018 Sydney Festival offerings was a feast for eye, ear and surprisingly stomach. Hundreds of curious art lovers crowded its industrial halls and alleyways enjoying the bounteous buffet and endless glasses of wine. The din from the heaving masses on a sweltering evening was an art happening in itself only upstaged by the looming cathedral of mottled-coloured swathes of canvas beckoning from the end of the hall. Once the crowd began to disperse my companion and I entered through its tent-like portals.

If you remember that on arriving in Oz Dorothy’s world turned technicolour – that is the experience awaiting you now on Wilson St until Easter – 8,000 metres of draped and knotted fabric in direct response to Carriageworks’ architecture. Using a spray gun renowned German artist Katharina Grosse continues her journey exploring a “folding space”. Months of planning for rigging points, sewing marathons and knot-tying results in a surreal and sublime otherworldly environment.

Make of the title of the work what you will, but for me it speaks to our inner and outer worlds. At one time the cascading flows of bright canvas conjure up known environments of rainforests and waterfalls. In scaring contrast I felt penned in by the explosions of colour as if among a riot or hemmed in by emblematic hues from fluttering flags at a presidential elect pic that the art. Grosse has described her relation to large scale paintings as the sensation of going to the kitchen looking for something then getting side-tracked and then discovering something new and extraordinary about yourself. That may link to the sense of excess and total display of the work. The horse just arrived at its destination.

There is something full circle about this exhibition. The canvases do hang and bulge like sacs in places. Hence it is very embryonic in nature, especially when viewed from outside and behind. I recommend going all the way round for the full life cycle experience.

Mark Nagle – Theatre Now & On The Town


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