Thinking that it was ending this weekend, today I went to take a final look at Julia Morison’s Meet Me On The Other Side.
But I was wrong: it’s got another week to run, finishing on 25 March.
So I thought to write a brief post.
Point being: if you’re in Christchurch, go see.
Not for the art-world cache or whateverelse. No. Just because it’s a nice experience that you deserve to allow yourself.
The show’s upstairs at Ng, 212 Madras Street.
You can get in from the street side, but there’s also a back door: entrance by way of the desert and broken urban field attaching Lichfield Street to Tuam. That’s the way to go. Gives the experience a kind of soundtrack, if you know what I mean.
It’s a beautiful space housing the show, and the big frontage windows look out over bits of the city that you haven’t been to for so long now that it feels like actual grief.
It was nice today, and sun streamed in on the cool dark floorboards of the room. I sat cross-legged and took in the show from child’s height, and that was a rewarding perspective, as it usually is.
Outside, there are cranes and concrete and construction signs, and I was reminded of that bit of graffiti during the opening credits of Treme: Somebody’s getting rich.
There’s a pitchfork in the show, and its tines (love that word, eh) pierce one of those front windows. That’s a powerful moment; it’s what all those illusion-busting actors and self-referring narrators try to achieve. The out-there/in-here divide doesn’t so much collapse as gets noticed in a sudden moment as this storm erupts within it and winds rush between worlds.
It’s an earthquake show in a sense, but abstractly. The filth and shit and disruption that invaded Julia’s personal life is commemorated here, yes—but it’s tamed. It’s literally caged. It’s framed and boxed and it’s on show. Its dominion has ceased, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s safe for you to proceed: go forth, with caution.
Thanks to the Christchurch Art Gallery for bringing this show to Christchurch, and to Ng for putting it up.