It might have a title that hints at something sexual / upsetting but Penis Rock, an ensemble exhibition that opened on May 7th, 2022 at the Onceagain Art Gallery curated by Onceagain (Manoji Yachvili), really isn’t – although it does have an “Adult” section and a slightly lewd rock formation outside of the exhibition space.
The exhibition has been inspired by a mesh rock formation that has a certain resemblance to a certain male appendage – and which, like said male appendage, can also change in size depending on how it is stretched. However, rather than being intentionally lewd or sexual, the images presented are, for the most part intended to be fun and raise a smile.
Growing out of an in-world rock climbing expedition to a location where the rock had been included, the exhibition presents images by Alex Amore, Alsatian Kidd, Ambre Singh, Crash Landers, Eupalinos Ugajin, Loony Perl, Jack in the box, Kika Yongho, Madoka Kawabata, Manoji Yachvili, Mara Telling, Zakk Bifrandt and Zedillo. All feature said phallic rock in one way or another, and may either present the likes of a simple landscape in which a finger-like rock stands, or as trios of images intended to be considered side-by-side or as pieces intended to offer a story – or even present a degree of social commentary – such as Ambre Singh’s Schism of Faith.
Reading the titles of some of the images may be required in order to appreciate them fully; others might be appreciated simply because of their artistic presentation – such as with Manoji Yachvili’s Grauland trio (the rock in question recently appeared in one of the Grauland region designs and helped to formulate the idea for the exhibition).
In terms of “Adult” content, these images have been placed in a room of their own, clearly indicated by a neon sign as Adult Only. These are not overly sexual in nature – although there are some obviously suggestive pieces and also some avatar nudity. When it comes to humour, I confess to finding two more pieces by Ambre giving rise to smiles. These are, Overprotective, which speaks for itself, and her proboscis monkey-filled Houston We Have a Problem, which is offers a richness of humour from the monkey schnozzes and somewhat bewildered expressions of the simians that seem to ask, “Oi, why are you sniggering?” and they look out of the frame at us, to an entire 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe that seems to be going on thanks again to said noses and the rock rising in the background.
All told, a fun exhibition that should not be taken overly seriously, but within which the art is rich in content.
- Onceagain Art Gallery (Peaceful Mountains, rated Adult)