Renate Bertlmann, Cullinan Richards, Ayla Dmyterko, Permindar Kaur, Rebecca Parkin, Tai Shani, Penny Slinger, Georgina Starr, Unyimeabasi Udoh
Bitch Magic

★★★☆☆

Curated by Celeste Baracchi
On until 2 March 2024

There’s more than one way to skin the witch’s cat. The evidence is ample in this show which brings together an impressive line-up of female esotericism and playful weirdness. Penny Slinger’s ‘70s photo collages bourgeon in angst, exposing a woman’s body to horrors rarely caught on film. Cullinan Richards’ industrial sacrificial altars meet their end with hysterical laughter.

Each “bitch” brings her brand of “magic”. But the more of them come close to the cauldron, the more spoiled the soup. Ayla Dmyterko’s paintings chase after a mystery, but her paint is mere cosplay and a trick of the mind. Premidar Kaur’s macabre curtain hanging hides no secret behind it. Georgina Starr’s sound piece finds a groove in patinated occult but does somehow poorly in this diverse coven.

The curator’s text finally reveals the cause of this dissonance. The gallery assembled these women not to narrate their ideas, images, or practices but to put them to work trading feminist thought for a “novel and more inclusive” dictates of queer theory. There will be no women when this spell breaks. And no need for magic, either.


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Pablo Bronstein, Cakehole at Herald Str ★★★☆☆

Pablo Bronstein

Cakehole

★★★☆☆

Bronstein falls into the late evening stupor of the cheese trolley, the oyster tray, and… the Mars bar.

Abel Auer, The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette at Corvi-Mora ★★★☆☆

Abel Auer

The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette

★★★☆☆

Auer is more interested in the fate of painting than humanity and thus stands apart from the army of zealots who make eco art today.

Armando D. Cosmos, Nothing New Under the Sun at Phillida Reid ★★★☆☆

Armando D. Cosmos

Nothing New Under the Sun

★★★☆☆

Cosmos wants to redefine STEM as the alliance of science, theosophy, engineering, and myth.

Sin Wei Kin, Portraits at Soft Opening ★★☆☆☆

Sin Wei Kin

Portraits

★★☆☆☆

This exhibition combines the most vulgar of all art school tropes: juvenile narcissism, NFT kitsch, and mindless referentialism.

Xie Nanxing, Hello, Portrait! at Thomas Dane ★★★★☆

Xie Nanxing

Hello, Portrait!

★★★★☆

Looking at Xie’s portraits is a little like wearing a virtual reality headset over only one eye.

Trevor Yeung, Soft Ground, at Gasworks ★★☆☆☆

Trevor Yeung

Soft Ground

★★☆☆☆

It’s stressful enough to fuck in the forest for fear of passers-by or the police; imagine having to also look out for curators.

×