The gallery doors. Closed. What a melancholy sight.
Press your nose to the glass and it's even grimmer. Stillness, inertia, dust.
Enough of that view. We're blocking it with something more interesting. The latest faces in the Populate! tenth-birthday programme, by artist Judy Darragh. Here they are, ready to (un)roll.
The work's called Sissy Squat, which is, apparently, the name of a weightlifting move. Judy chose the name because, when she made it, she was looking for a way to 'muscle up' her art. She started collecting the shiny PVC banners that multiplexes use to advertise movies, and then taking to them with spray paint and adhesives – glitches of the hand-made kind.
The movie she settled on for Sissy Squat was a romcom or romantic comedy, featuring a Hollywood-handsome couple. But after Judy's touch-ups, they look more like they hail from the science-fiction section of the video store.
Having begun life as a commercial advertisement, the 'original' Sissy Squat recently entered the collection of Auckland Art Gallery. And here in Christchurch it's re-emerged as a vinyl treatment in the public domain, a realm which, Christchurch being Christchurch, has its own fair share of glitches and bright graffiti. There the two figures stand now on the foyer doors, a strangely happy couple -- or perhaps that should be happily strange.
When it was open, as it happens, the foyer saw quite a few happy couples. They liked to hire it for their wedding ceremonies (perhaps it was that 'Gone with the Wind' marble staircase).
So we can't help smiling to think what will happen when the Gallery doors finally open. We'll be back inside (there's a happy ending), but Judy's couple will part ways. Come and see them while their marriage lasts.