Whoops Kibbutz, Utopian Slumps
25 Easey Street Collingwood, May – June 2008
Whoops Kibbutz, Kate Smiths’ first solo exhibition in Melbourne is loosely based on her recent experiences on the family farm — which I’m guessing is like staying at Mike Brown’s house while Urs Fischer plucks chickens and Sean Landers makes mix tapes in the barn. It’s a sprawling refined mess of text and paint, rollicking about like oversized party favours strewn out for examination, destroyed, renamed and hastily rebuilt for another whirl. The 30–odd works are littered with Smith’s signature meditations on art ‘practice’, and the environment at large — which could be the studio, as singular works imply — yet en masse the works seem to heave with a kind of fever. The kind of fever that comes with wanting to make to see an idea, throw things together to see if they work while the mind prickles and fingers twinkle. No question what a weekend away can do for the soul.