We Get Tricks
Uplands Gallery, Studio 2&3 249 - 251 Chapel Street Prahran, Oct 2007
There are tricks all over this show, Magic Happens (bowling ball and sticker) being the clearest example. But the best trick is the one that made me feel like a flake (being a maker it’s inevitable) – the artist/the trickster and the audience/the tricked. Griffin does this by dressing up and acting it out.
At the front of the show, someone big on all fours modelled a sunshine made of shit and a video piece. The sun’s design was redolent of a kind of coastal scene. Griffin seems to think this is bad, well, shit. Or what this stands for is. Things like Nature and dream catchers with feathers, a sloppy rhetorical kind of activism, wearable and sold at markets. Griffin’s intention to tattoo a hippy on a dolphin has been well documented.
The sun piece set up another video in which Griffin appears as a kind of gathering eco-artist tinker. This shifts Griffin’s target from the general to art. The footage takes place in the bush and then the studio. Here Griffin mocks a current version of art’s default relationship to nature. Griffin as young creative has his naturalness exaggerated by his upsized comedy manhood, made out of some foul kinked bit of balloon and a wig – seemed a bit itchy. He chooses twigs in a dumb reverential way, holding them up to the camera/audience for examination or proof. Later he returns to the studio to interpret his experience in a crappy organic wooden sculpture that doesn’t work and just falls about.
I can’t help but spell this all out because I really like this work and set of things. Griffin’s silly/floppy taps of the hammer are the cherry. Watching I start to feel like a hypocrite and want to give up and be a nurse or something. But it’s ok I’ll take it because I have not found many things that house my annoyance and give me back humour like this, and that’s what I want.Kate Smith