Herald Sun, Arts and Entertainment
Tuesday, October 3,1995, p46

Grid lock: Ian de Gruchy's Camera 2: Projecting Space dissolves images before the eyes.

Filling space with images

Review: Photography
lan de Gruchy: Camera 2, Projecting Space

Centre for Contemporary Photography;
October 5-November 4


AS SPECTATORS walk into the gallery, they are transformed into participants. Bodies moving in and around the environment alter the visual landscape.

The floor is awash with images. Skewed grids are disorienting as they dissolve before the eyes, changing into golden rock and shattered glass.

The installation, one of three by projection artist Ian de Gruchy, provides an opportunity to experience the projected environment.

Most of de Gruchy's projections have been on an architectural scale - transforming the facades of city buildings, museums and libraries - or visual environments created for performance works.

Projecting the Floor uses 12 projectors to create a theatrical space. But in many respects the space is meditative because the time sequencing is slow.

De Gruchy's work has rarely been seen inside the gallery. Most of it can be described as public art, in that it is in urban spaces, where people just come across it or it is an element of a theatrical production.

This exhibition includes Documentation Piece, which covers work from New York, in 1984, to the most recent architectural transformations.

In June, de Gruchy projected musical instruments and scores on to the Queensland Performing Arts Theatre, changing it into a lyrical photographic collage for the Biennial.

For the Adelaide Festival in 1988, he transformed the Festival Centre into a humpy and his Library Projection (State Library of Victoria, 1992) converted the side of the building into a bookshelf by scaling-up a photograph taken in the reading room.

All the projections are ephemeral events: some are lyrical, poetic or funny, others are subversive.

The Adelaide Festival humpy, for example, changed the architectural space for high art into a monumental shack. It was a reminder that the Festival Centre was built over a site of Aboriginal settlement.

City Wall Projection last year used the State Bank Building in Swanston Walk as a subversive billboard. The silhouette of a tree loomed high in the cement jungle, a shadow of another place outside the urban hustle and bustle.

The architectural projections are spectacular and, like-the performance works, exploit the magical qualities of photography.

Works with Peter King and Jude Walton have used the illusionistic qualities of multiple slide projections, with images refracted through water and mirrors.

SURFACES glide in and out of one another, creating a fluid progression and an architectural interior from images and light.

In the small loading bay behind the gallery, de Gruchy creates one of these photographic illusions. The area is black, except for the projected photographs. Titled Defying Gravity, the rocks in the room appear suspended in space: weightless bodies or hallucinations which cannot be believed.

Camera 2: Projecting Space is an unconventional exhibition. Photographs are a means to an end, constructing environments and transforming city skylines.

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