Art review – Marco Fusinato: The Colour of the Sky Has Melted at Artspace (2012)

Probably the only art exhibition in Sydney which comes with free ear plugs, Marco Fusinato’s The Color of the Sky Has Melted collects the best of the always challenging Fusinato’s recent work. The ear plugs are a good idea for the central work, the striking interactive installation Aetheric Plexus(2009), a somewhat ominous-looking industrial work which suddenly blasts those who dare to walk in its crosshairs with a brain-melting flash of intense light and deafening 105 decibels of white noise.

Also a noted drone noise guitarist who was collaborated with Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore, Fusinato’s interest in the extreme possibilities of music and the blurry line between extreme music and noise continues in the ongoing series Mass Black Implosion (2007-). These works see Fusinato take a score and draw lines from individual notes like light beams shooting off into the distance, making the scores look like some chaotic, mathematical diagrams.

There’s more noise in Free 1998-2004 (2012), a video series compiled over a number of years where Fusinato proves himself possibly the worst guitar shop customer of all time, turning up at unsuspecting stores and launching into high-volume noise assaults on the store guitars. This is guerilla art at once playful and wildly unpredictable, the stunt often ending with him being ejected from the store.

Free is also a useful introduction to Fusinato’s distinctive guitar style, which is more akin to attacking the instrument then playing it in any conventional way. Like much of what he does, it sees the artist refusing to accept passive engagement with his work and making the audience part of the art rather than passive receptacles.

Elsewhere there’s a striking photo print of a rioter with a rock poised reading for action, all the more disturbing for its lack of context, and a huge screenprint which is a reworking of a protest sign made by an Eastern European art collective in the 1970s. Although the collection covers a number of mediums, it is very much cohesive, tied together by an unremitting palette of black, white, and gray, an interest in revolutionary movements, and a furious intent to smash the barriers of what sound and image can do. This is one of the most intriguing and in-your-face collections of art in Sydney at the moment. It’s also almost certainly the loudest.

Originally appeared in: Concrete Playground

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