Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Mourners: Georgia Metaxas + Anna Zagala

The Mourners by Georgia Metaxas at CCP
image: Georgia Metaxis

While there might not appear to be a direct link between Georgia Metaxas' recent body of work and the multinational book chain Borders let's just say the two have found shared company. Those living under a hot water bottle might have missed the fact that the administrator's have taken charge of the bookstore, closing its Melbourne stores. Metaxas' exhibition of black clad ladies in mourning is currently on at CCP. In short, its a month for mourning.

Some might not be feeling too sad for Borders. But you won't find me in that camp. The Carlton store has been my book store for the past five years. Carlton, for those of you not familiar with the suburb has a long association with educated bohemians and home to Readings, an independent bookstore with thirteen shopfronts across Melbourne that first opened its doors in 1969. Choosing Borders was seen as unpatriotic by many who were pointed about their preference for the more serious, scholarly store across the road. If I lived in a smaller less literary city Readings might even be my book store of choice. But I live in Melbourne.

It's no secret that I harbour hostility towards left-leaning baby boomers in the public eye that trade on a kind of anti establishment ethos while raking in piles of money. That sentiment in and of itself steered me across the road. Though Reading's partnership with cartoonist Michael Leunig that purveyor of soft, passive aggressive humanism only reinforced my impression we are not the same tribe.

Did I admire Borders? Not really. I took advantage of its 3 books for the price of 2 deals, its endless racks of magazines, and its roomy ambience. It's hard to believe the giant has fallen though. I might even get the black out of the cupboard for a week or so. It's not exactly the commitment displayed by the women in Metaxas' photographs but I'm keeping my grief response proportional.

Georgia Metaxas
The Mourners
CCP, 404 George Street.
Fitzroy 3065
Until 7 July 2011


  1. Or maybe you'll don black because it's Melbourne and it's winter?!

    Interesting post! I'm just mourning the eventual loss of physical bookshops per se. I hardly ever venture into any other sort of shop nowadays, except those with food. Without bookshops I might just become a recluse.

  2. I'm a bit gold coast in my love of colour. Black for a week will be a bit of an effort, would you believe! I know what you mean about stores. I buy so little. Food mostly. But I love book stores. And I've got a new one to post about. I don't want to be a negative nancy. x

  3. This is great!!

    I too am a long time lover of borders..never felt clever or groovy enough for Readings, Nor would they allow you to paw all of the magazines like the borders staff do...Borders is a the greatest combination of high and low brow literature, a recent example is when Cam I met at the counter after an hours wandering separately with our purchase of choice. Me with the latest copy of Who magazine and he with a copy of the Koran. Nothing more to be said.

    my other secret is that when ever i visit i can't help but sing Borderline by Madonna in my head. Join me as i sing in tribute.."
    you just keep on pushing my love over the Borderline..." xxx