Mouldy cherries: sex, urban decay or time? – Artwork from Hi – Chloe Langford


marco polo, 2010, Chloe Langford, moulded cherries, heat lamps

There was no way I could resist going to an exhibition with a promo tag like this:

In an effort to communicate something obscure, ineffable and poetic about life Chloe Langford offers you this collection of admittedly crass objects. Suck them up with your eyes, think about your life, or think about other things, she’s not the boss of you anyway.

If you like things to be conventionally pretty, fit into neat boxes, and play by the rules, Chloe’s exhibition, held at Magazine Gallery, was a persuasive argument for just getting messy, going with the flow and leaving some questions unanswered.

When a few friends and I saw Hi it provoked reactions in us ranging from glee to revulsion to head scratching, sometimes all of these things for the same piece. It was definitely an exhibition you wouldn’t want to experience alone; half the fun was hearing everybody’s (sometimes wildly different) take on Chloe’s stuff and verbally battling about what the hell each piece was meant to be saying. 

The piece that triggered the most debate? 

marco polo, mouldy cherries festering under a heat lamp, which you can see in the pic above. 

One friend, who incidentally is studying microbiology at uni, said it made her think of culturing moulds and bacteria. She though the heat lamp was a metaphor for global warming, and that in turn there was a parallel between modern society and the microscopic bacteria communities growing on the cherries; voracious consumers poisoning themselves with their own pollutants and toxic waste. She thought the title Marco Polo reinforced the idea of being blind to our own greed and damage. 

Others of us saw a more positive side to the piece’s key element of decay. Decay doesn’t necessarily refer only to collapse, neglect and destruction. It also highlights the idea of time passing, of progression, of discovering a new, interesting side to something that wouldn’t have happened without some pressures in your surroundings. 

Another friend had the last say: “God, you guys are all being pretentious a**holes. It’s obviously just a metaphor for sex! A bright, red, new cherry is virginal when it is fresh and ripe for the picking; mouldy cherries have obviously not only been popped but have been getting some for quite some time. And a HEAT lamp, I mean, c’mon!”

So. Mouldy cherries: sex, urban decay or time?

Or something else entirely?

One thing’s for sure: Chloe definitely deserves the My Spidey Sense Is Tingling tag “She ain’t no MJ Watson” 🙂

About Cherie

My name is Cherie, and I’m an Australian Occupational Therapy Student who hopes to help people with any condition that inhibits their ability to participate in valued occupations, tasks, activities, as I believe they’re an essential part of identity, happiness and health. My favourite occupation is hiking, which enables me to move past through the forest literally and metaphorically! View all posts by Cherie

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