You may wonder why that title was chosen to showcase the first David Lynch exhibition in Australia. It is the first exhibition of its size to come to Australia and Brisbane is hosting it – a big feather in GOMA's Cap.
Jose Da Silva, the curator of the exhibition talked about David Lynch's life. David Lynch lived an idyllic life in America, growing up in big houses in tree lined avenues, travelling with his family and generally enjoying a comfortable and middle class background. In the 1960's he went to art school where he also got involved with film making. Art was his bible. He is quoted saying "You could paint forever and never paint the perfect painting... there's no end to it, your painting will never die." He began to realise that not everything was as it appeared. If you looked more closely at an idyllic setting you could uncover colonies of red ants which hinted at the imperfections and the decay lying just below the surface. He loves to look at ordinary things and see how they present themselves to him. He plays with light and darkness, fear and desire, thoughts and actions. There are two worlds often opposing and he is keen to show that aspect of life to us.
I was curious to see this exhibition because I knew very little about Lynch other than that he directed Elephant Man and Eraserhead, films which were quite confronting when I was growing up.
The exhibition gives you a comprehensive insight into how multi- talented he is. He is not a man who blows his own horn. He rarely has exhibitions, he is rarely heard in the media but he goes on producing provocative art, making films, writing musical scores, sculpting and producing interactive video art.
The exhibition has not been presented as a retrospective but more in thematic sections – the one called "Man and Machine" depicts his love of industrial machines and industrial sites. I particularly enjoyed the series of black and white photographs of disused factories and machinery left to rust and fall apart.
The next section of the exhibition is referred to as "Extraordinary" and I suspect that when looking at the art in this section it is a very apt title. There are a series of nude pictures that he has photo-shopped in ways that depict these figures as being extraordinary while in others he uses simple images, like Light Fire Boy to create slightly surreal settings.
Others depict hands protecting houses and women with guns. Some of this is undoubtedly unsettling. This is not cosy and heart warming art. It is confronting and in some respects horrific but it is Lynch trying to explain the underlying emotions of each scenario. He is a great believer in transcendental meditation and perhaps the last section of the exhibition called "Psychic Aches" has a lot to do with the way Lynch unlearns so many of the lessons that life teaches us. He unpicks each one with meticulous detail, exposing exactly what goes on beneath.
One of the series I particularly admired were the miniatures he drew on match boxes.
There is an area devoted to some of his soundtracks and some of his films and even one of him showing us how he sets about creating a sculpture.
I was pleased that I went – it's even better if you have someone who gives you some insight into the art. GOMA has volunteer guided tours every day at 100pm. You can just turn up to these. The fact that Brisbane has managed to have this significant exhibition on such a personality is not to be missed. This opportunity is unlikely to come to us again in the near future.