Critics’ Picks

Hatchback, 2003.

Hatchback, 2003.

Melbourne

Stephen Honegger and Anthony Hunt

Uplands Gallery
12 Waratah Place, Level 1
August 4–August 30, 2003

Squeezed into this tiny upstairs gallery—one of the most dynamic alternative spaces in a city blessed with many—Stephen Honegger and Anthony Hunt’s Hatchback, 2003, is a full-size model of a 1980s Honda Civic that looks like it just escaped from a cartoon. The sole work on view in this show, it's a deliberately dull, fastidiously generic object, down to the cursory wheels, which lack tires altogether. It’s also surprisingly low-tech, coming as it does from two artists whose video game recently attracted howls of outrage. (In Escape from Woomera, players took the roles of political-asylum seekers trying to break out of Australia's notorious but electorally popular detention camp.) Hatchback relates more closely to the duo’s over-the-top horror-movie installation Container, 2002, which caused a minor sensation last year at Gertrude Street Contemporary Art Space. The artists had parked a shipping container in the gallery; inside, a video projection of a nocturnal break-in, shot from the point of view of the intruder, that culminated in a homicide within the gallery itself transformed the space into a murder venue and the luckless viewer into a killer's potential victim. Like Container, Hatchback refuses interactivity while simulating claustrophobic virtuality.