NGV Triennial: Extra
Recently landed: Extra, Gracia’s written response to Accumulation, for Fjord Review
With a Dancing Faun at the head and Farnese Hercules at the feet, I know I am in the right place.
In the foyer of the NGV, the gods and heroes of Greek and Roman mythology are draped across a 14-metre long Eternity Buddha. Greco-Roman, Renaissance and Neoclassical sculpture meets the High Tang Dynasty (705–781 CE); West meets East. An interflow of all the big things: life, death, nirvana. Right place, like I said.
Standing before artist Xu Zhen’s monumental 3D-scan of the original reclining Buddha from the Nirvana Caves of China, I am rendered small in scale and self-importance. All compounded things are subject to decay.
I am waiting for Chunky Move’s dance takeover of the gallery, as part of Extra, a ten-day, summertime, after-hours, and free festival nestled within the brand new NGV Triennial. Each night, Chunky Move is giving three performances within the gallery. Curated by Chunky Move’s Artistic Director Anouk van Dijk, Accumulation, like the Extra mantle it nestles beneath, is true to name: a collection of five new performance works created by van Dijk, Antony Hamilton, Prue Lang, and Thomas E.S. Kelly, presented as something Extra to the Triennial experience. As I stand watching an Immortal Persian Soldier Fighting crouch for eternity behind the feet of the Buddha, something tells me more than enhancement but centrepiece is in the offing. And Othryades the Spartan Dying, nestles in closer at the neck.