As a Melbourne local it’s easy to take our art scene for granted, at times it seems like gallery openings are less about the art on the wall and more about finding the best instagram opportunities and smashing as much free booze as physically possible before the bar runs dry. So you can understand why when I was handed a hardhat upon rocking up at DOES’ latest exhibition that my interest was piqued.
Held in a construction site in Collingwood for just three nights, Endless Perspectives was an experimental short-term exhibition presented by the guys at Just Another that felt about as far removed from the white-cube archetype as you can get without going all Stelarc and hanging yourself from meat hooks. For myself, the greatest letdown of most graff writer’s exhibitions is the representation of the street in a completely unrelated context of an art gallery. It’s the equivalent of going to see a lion in a zoo as opposed to kicking it in a Savanna – except everyone else there is also richer and better dressed than you. DOES managed to actually sidestep the issue altogether with his venue choice, which aside from the (presumably legally required) safety induction, actually felt like wandering around an abandoned building.
The concept of the show was a pretty ambitious one – to bring forty canvasses created in five different cities to a site-specific installation, with accompanying video documentation. Traversing Amsterdam, Basel, London, Paris and Melbourne – Endless Perspectives was a meditation on the transience of graffiti, but also a reflection on the artist’s personal journey. Any one familiar with DOES’ work is aware of the precision of his letters, and the show was a full reflection of the guys’ raw skill with a can. In terms of sheer execution of concept Endless Perspectives definitely sets a new standard for what can be achieved in a gallery showing. And as seems to be the unwritten rule of graffiti, it disappeared before most people had a chance to fully appreciate it.
Photography by Jessica Howell