Luli Barzman
View 2 Gallery, Mathew Street (14th August – 13th September 2008)

Reviewed by Anthony Swords

This is not just art. This is M&S art.

According to the gallery’s guide to the exhibit, Fruitopia is the culmination of two years work on behalf of the Paris based artist, Luli Barzman. I can’t quite see how so much work can be put into this collection as these photographs look very much like any of the glossy new wave of family portraiture photos you can now find in many high street studios – except with large pieces of fruit. Barzman is apparently interested in the link between the human body and the food we eat, and this collection of nudes fits in with her earlier pieces ‘addressing issues related to women’s bodies’. I’m afraid that the link is tenuous. While the images of her subjects are well taken, they compete with the vibrant colours of the fruit. If there is a link to be made, Barzman creates a visual tension between the two that distracts from what is the most interesting part of the photographs - the people. Barzman does not seem to mind that they are forced to take a back seat to melons and radishes like an advertisement for an organic food wholesaler.

However, I must mention the gallery itself as it was the first time I had visited View 2. Sprawling across three floors over Lennon’s Bar on Mathew Street, the gallery has an eclectic feel to it as every inch of space is made available to displaying everything from screen prints, oils, watercolours and photographs of varying subject matter. It does not make for a harmonious display, but it is a nice alternative for anyone used to much bigger, mainstream galleries to visit somewhere that just wants to show something and not be too taken in by distinctions such as genre or medium.

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