Exhibition theme and design

Introduction to the exhibition

Love is a rapturous deluge of the senses, a shape-shifting emotion that never sits still. It can be sexual, romantic, familial or religious. From bodily beginnings to (often) crushing conclusions, We used to talk about love: Balnaves contemporary: photomedia charts a passage across love’s diverse emotions through four broad ideas:

  • To begin with the flesh considers the vexed terrain of the body and desire
  • Expressive abstractions addresses the realms of solitude and togetherness
  • An archive of feeling elaborates on notions of longing and memory
  • Filthy, crushing, ending contemplates a sense of loss, absence and disintegration

Curator and architect have collaborated to navigate a unique pathway through the exhibition spaces. With narrow passageways that open out into expansive spaces, and with perspectives that present unfulfilled opportunities, the architectural reconsideration of these galleries articulates the push and pull of love as emotion.

Issues for consideration

  • This exhibition is titled We used to talk about love. What does this mean? Does the introduction above cover all aspects of this topic? After visiting the exhibition, do you think the curator has successfully captured the aim of the text? Outline the reasons for your opinion.
  • The curator and the architect worked collaboratively to design the exhibition space. Walk through the exhibition and review the effect this space has on the viewer. Do you walk slowly or quickly through the exhibition? Where do you stop and reflect? How does the design encourage the viewer to connect with the artworks on display? Discuss what role you think the design has in the success of the exhibition.
  • What is the relationship between the artworks and the spaces they are placed in? Compare this exhibition space to others in the Gallery. In what ways are they different/similar? Which exhibition space do you prefer and why?
  • How do artists use photography and new media to tap into feelings and currents in our present-day culture?
  • How do we create, capture and distribute images in the 21st century? How does this affect the way we communicate? Describe how digital technologies and devices (including the internet and mobile phones and tablets) have impacted on artistic practices in this exhibition.