I like obsessions, they drive so much of what is interesting and inspired. The Christmas holidays have presented a chance to view some grand obsessions in the art world on show and easily accessible at public and popular places around Sydney.
Song Dong: Waste Not is an exhibition of Chinese artist, Song Dong’s containing literally thousands of objects of his mother’s life following the death of his father. Concerned with his mother’s mourning, the obsession with representation and history is clearly on display.
Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art displays some of the objects created by a contemporary artist who is obsessed by the way things appear and change dependent on perspective. Housed in the new wing of this building the objects don’t feel designed for the space.
A ‘5 storey’ rubber duck parked on the water at Sydney’s Darling Harbour appears as a giant obsession with toys by artist Florentijn Hofman. Perhaps its location in arguably an unsuccessfully fabricated part of the city renders it too kitch to be good and adds to the tack. Where as Song Dong’s at the industrial era Carriageworks feels authentic. Kapoor’s clever and brilliantly executed work like Hofman’s duck is fun, but ultimately the obsessions in both don’t conjure anything like the history of the ordinary, day to day of Dong’s. Ultimately it is this obsession of Dong’s that resonates most.