Tim Alves

Today Your Love Boat

In November and December 2011 Michael Ciavarella, Ross Coulter and Alex Ippoliti built a boat in the backspace. This was when the Bourke Street gallery was still new. They made it out of concrete so it was really a sculpture of a boat. It didn’t elicit any metaphorical thoughts, really though. It was just a concrete boat. It was made gradually during the course of the exhibit. First just a concrete mixer, then a whole lot of formwork, then concrete, then the formwork was removed and the boat looked really good. It was made in the space and was impossible to remove as it was bigger then the door so it was broken up at the end of the exhibition. It’s proportions were perfect in the gallery and it worked well with the parquetry floor. I never saw any actual production work over the week, just the results. I did have the opportunity to photograph the stages and enjoy the natural light that flooded in.

Aristotle specifically uses boat building as one of his examples of what art is. This is because art is work. And the work of making things is more attuned to means then it is to ends in terms of ultimate reasons people do things. Traveling in a boat is closer to an ultimate purpose than actually building the boat in the first place. I don’t think interpreting Ciavarella, Coulter and Ippoliti’s concrete boat against Aristotle’s principles is directly relevant. But looking back at late 2011 there was a real air of movement, enthusiasm and of going somewhere at West Space. The Bourke Street digs are fantastic but wasn’t the Today Your Love Project boat an optimistic voyage.