Now screening: Gertrude Street Projection Festival 2010

For those of us on Gertrude Street, it’s been hard to ignore the Projection Festival. Twice in the last week I’ve walked the street of an evening and the second time (last night) I bravely attempted to take some photos for you – I say “bravely” because without the benefit of a good camera, a nice tripod, a better skillset and images that don’t move quite so fast, it’s been like photographing ghosts.

It’s quite a challenge for an amateur: if you use the flash, the images vanish beneath the shock of light. Without flash, the length of time required in the dim street light produces a blurry image because inevitably, it will change or you will move or both.

I’m sure that the results can tell interesting stories about the ephemeral image and the necessity of living in the moment. Sadly, it doesn’t make for good visual memories though so I encourage you to go and see it before it ends on Sunday night.

If you’ve seen it already, I encourage you to go again: there is much to see, and much that changes – the best example is the Rose Chong window, which features live performers! The first night we were there, two ladies sat, one read and one knitted. Last night was more exciting though: the two (a different two?) were prancing and dancing with animal masks on their heads, whilst two small dogs “ruffed” at a small child with a teddy bear (a threat to their territory perhaps?). Not high art, maybe, but definitely fun.

One of the reasons that I’m enjoying it is because it encourages you to engage with the street in a different way. We walked up both sides of the street looking out for the numbers that would indicate that an exhibit was present, and searched (sometimes in vain) for the artwork. Gertrude Street makes for a good gallery: there are lots of nice spaces to display things and it’s quite dark in bits, well suited to a projection.

This is the third year of the festival and it’s getting better and better – there’s still lots of potential and next year I’d like to see more buildings host artworks, and more information about each artwork displayed. Circa will hopefully be involved again, as a sponsor and venue.

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