While so many exhibitions and programs in the NGV’s large calendar of events are organised months, if not years in advance, occasionally great opportunities present themselves at comparatively short notice. A wonderful example of this is Michel Blazy’s fantastical, and enormous, cascading soap bubble sculpture Bouquet final 2 (2012) which is currently being installed in the NGV’s Great Hall as part of the 24-hour White Night Melbourne celebration, which will run from 7pm this coming Saturday night (23 February) to 7am on Sunday morning. While the installation of the work currently looks like a construction site – with an imposing 6 metre high scaffold with plastic planter boxes and hosing adorning its frame, I can’t wait for the switch to be turned on and the ‘magic’ to begin. It’s then that the work achieves its true potential – transforming its industrial ‘bones’ into an enchanting cascade of foam that gently emerges and falls from the scaffold and slowly envelops its form.
Michel Blazy (born Monaco 1966, lives and works in Paris) has a long history of working with organic materials and is interested in exploring the beauty of decay and the poetic possibilities of the passing of time as these materials are allowed to deteriorate over the course of an exhibition.
The artist’s repertoire to date has included a large mushroom-like form made entirely of soy noodles; sculptures constructed of squeezed-out orange halves; paintings of mashed potato and beetroot purée; pizza paintings and pasta sculptures, and a sculptural grotto on which mung beans sprouted and grew over the period of display. Opening up the controlled environment of the museum to the unpredictability of natural processes and effectively creating a multi-sensory and ever-changing experience as these perishable materials physically change, Blazy’s installations encourage audiences to question notions of repulsion and disgust and re-think our assumptions about aesthetic beauty.
Up for only the 24-hour period of White Night Melbourne, Final bouquet 2 is not to be missed. In some ways the wonder of these quick turn-around events is the fact that once over, you could almost be fooled into believing that the presence of a work such as this only existed in your imagination, as by the time the gallery re-opens at 10am on Sunday morning, every trace of its existence will be gone.