Mark Strizic ‘Melbourne in Transition’ @ Gallery 101

1 05 2009

While I mainly like to visit jewellery exhibitions, I also like to visit photography exhibitions; it’s my next favourite artform and my first favourite(!) two-dimensional medium.

Like many art-lovers, Sunday afternoons means Sunday Arts on the ABC; but I generally miss it, so I catch the repeat later that evening on ABC2. Recently I saw a piece on an exhibition of the photographs of Mark Strizic at Gallery 101, including an interview with the artist – it was fascinating and the images evocative.


Exhibition media states: “Mark Strizic, one of Australia’s eminent photographic artists present us with nostalgic views of Melbourne from the ‘50’s to the ‘70’s and the changing face of the city. Strizic’s oeuvre represents a collection of iconic images of architecture and of life – a record of the changing face of a migrating society of new prosperity, youth and popular culture – taken with a sympathetic eye for humanistic detail.

The exhibition has been reviewed by The Age, The Art Review and Art Blart among others. The latter includes many beautiful images in the story, with a well structured essay and interesting critique of the work and its place – it’s a very good read. In this story Marcus comments on ‘nostaglia’, a word often used in the media for this exhibition. I too thought of the use of this word and wondered about the media statement ‘presents us with nostalgic views‘.

The way I think of it is that the photographs were taken in their time as a document of reality, and so the images themselves were not meant to evoke nostalgia – however it is fair to say that their current-day exposition does evoke a kind of nostalgia for those who experienced the city at that time. But for those of us too young to have experienced the era, what feeling is kindled in us? Is it ‘nostaglia’ or is it simply that we appreciate the beauty of these images and only imagine living at that time?

Again like Marcus, I wondered about the use of ‘rare’ and ‘unique’ in the image descriptions on the works list. It seemed, at least to my recollection, that these images were more expensive than others described without these words – but it was unclear how these terms were being defined.

Three images that were particularly beautiful are (see the ArtBlart story for images):

  • ICI House from Lonsdale Street, 1960; printed 1999; silver gelatin photograph; 23 x 19cm
  • Macpherson Building – 1, 1958 – this is just stunning; the sun reflecting the windows onto the pavement into the shadow of the tree is gorgeous
  • an image taken from inside a shop in Block Arcade (I didn’t record the details)

Mark Strizic ‘Melbourne in Transition‘ was at Gallery 101 from 8th April – 3rd May 2009.



One response

1 05 2009

Hi Karen
Thankx for your post and comments about my review on Art Blart
Much appreciated!

I have added you to the Blog Roll on the site and thankyou for adding me on your site

All the best

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