52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS - Publication I Thames and Hudson
The world has seen dramatic change over the past decade; from the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the growing threat of climate change, to the rapid rise of gentrification, severe economic inequality and the decay of democratic transparency. Brexit, Trump and the rise of the alt-right in many countries indicate that a ubiquitous leaning towards conservatism, nationalism and populism is growing. At the same time, communities worldwide have bonded together to protest for social and political change, challenging old structures of power in a new media world.
The National 2019: New Australian Art Review
The National 2019: New Australian Art Review
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham, director of programmes at Carriageworks; and MCA curators Clothilde Bullen and Anna Davis.
While the curators rejected the notion that this is a survey show during its media launch, the biennial exhibition—the second of three scheduled editions, with the third slated for 2021—does offer insight into how artists in Australia, not to mention a new generation of curators, are thinking about the times in which we live.
The Sydney Lowdown: Shows to See, September 2018
Sydney Contemporary returns to Carriageworks for its fourth edition between 13 and 16 September 2018 with 87 local and international galleries and a full programme of performances, talks, large-scale curated installations and tours. Beyond the fair, Sydney is abundant with standout shows that challenge perceptions around identity, the body, and technology through contemporary art. These ambitious presentations engage national and international artists with a diversity of inter-generational practices and material forms.
KINGS ARTIST RUN
2018 Emerging Writers Program: Piers Greville, Fabricated Country, 2018
‘My roots go down to the depths of the world, through earth dry with brick, and damp earth, through veins of lead and silver. I am all fibre. All tremors shake me, and the weight of the earth is pressed to my ribs.’
-Virginia Woolf, The Waves, 1931
Piers Greville’s work is a proposition towards a new way of thinking about nature and our human relationship to the landscape. He does this by mapping the natural and technological topographies and fault-lines that occur in a particular site—looking back across history to reimagine it under the vision of the Anthropocene—our new geological era. The Anthropocene, a theoretical epoch, designates the current period of ubiquitous human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems as having altered them to such a degree that they have taken on another form. This is particularly reflected in the current state of climate change. The mediated view of the landscape through the lens of the Anthropocene operates within the material language of Greville’s painting, rendered two and three dimensional. Searching for a new visual language beyond its colonial heritage this exhibition, Fabricated Country, lifts and breaks open a small fragment of the Australian landscape to reimagine its past, present and future.
Art & Australia
Marco Fusinato, Constellations, 21st Biennale of Sydney, Superpositions: Equilibrium and Engagement, 2018
21st Biennale of Sydney, SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement, 16 Mar—11 June 2018
Marco Fusinato’s, Constellations, 2015, thunders within and without of Carriageworks, one of the key venues of this year’s Biennale of Sydney curated by Mami Kataoka titled Superposition: Equilibrium & Engagement. In simple terms the Superposition Principle is a theory in quantum physics that argues that particles can exist across all possible states at the same time, continuously shifting from one state to another—like (sound) waves lapping over each other. Much of the work in the Biennale shares a similar philosophy where information or form is evenly distributioned throughout the exhibition, however Fusinato’s Constellations violently ruptures this comfortable flow and radically shifts the balance of power between artist and audience.
PUSSY PROOFED // LOLA PINDER & SARAH HIBBS
BOOK MACHINE - thing in itself, 2017
POWERED BY ARTSPACE, Sydney + ONE STAR PRESS, Paris
KAI WASIKOWSKI // ELYSE GOLDFINCH, 2017
Kai Wasikowski’s work is occupied with the ideological aestheticisation of nature by confounding our understanding of it as a perceptual experience. His images of ubiquitous landscapes are often mediated by techniques like lenticular imagery or synthetic signifiers of an uncanny environment – a nature that is not really there. As we so often witness sublime natural landscapes from behind a screen these works make visible the cultural contingency and digital manipulation that construct our experiences of nature.
In his series, Foliage, 2015, Wasikowski uses lenticular photography to capture detailed images of leaves that shifts with the viewer as they move around the work. This series complicates the idea that nature exists because we see it, rather, objects in nature appear profoundly unknowable, occupying a state of infinite recess. This is further emphasised in Natural Artefact #1 and #2, 2017, which uses a technique of printing images of landscapes onto artificial leaves and placing them back into the scene. The resulting image disrupts the interface of the landscape and imagines nature as something mutable and readily manipulated by human creativity.
The hyper-reality of nature is embodied in an earlier series, Handscapes, 2014, which explores the relationship between the body and nature as mediated by technology. In Handscape II, the artist’s hand hangs, palm open onto which an image of a waterfall is projected. Underneath, lies a mound of sand and a small, toy dolphin. By using props that are signifiers of an island paradise, this work constructs a fantasy of an imagined landscape that is both placed and placeless at once.
The coiled energy and formal restraint of Wasikowski’s In-Tension examines the way materials undermine the experience of encountering a natural phenomenon as it negotiates the tension between the real and the rendered. The work is composed of a line of fishing rods where the fishing line is looped between each rod, straining them into position. There is a sense of danger or foreboding in this work which threatens to snap at any moment. Unlike much of his work which explores the human desire for sensory immersion into a landscape, In-Tension acts more like a warning about the risk of disrupting the symbiotic balance of nature so precariously held into place.
What remains, beyond the conceptual sophistication and technical skill, is an idiosyncratic vision. The complex imagery and transformational gestures speak to a nature after nature, which implies an ending, but on the contrary, it engenders new ways of seeing.
nature after nature
Nature is constantly becoming. It generates and degenerates - crossing from one state into another into another. It surrounds us and it is us.
Nature is transformational.
Our contemporary understanding of nature is a relic of Immanuel Kant’s theory in which objects in nature exist in a world beyond the rationality of the human mind. Kant argued that this rendered nature as intrinsically unknowable. This theory divides culture (human rationality) from nature (all). The Anthropocene, our new geological epoch re-inscribes a Kantian vision because it puts humanity back at the centre.
How can we imagine a world in which nature and the mind are intimately related?
European philosopher Santiago Zabala posits that the biggest emergency today is the very absence of a sense of emergeny. This is, in part a legacy of the Kantian divide between object and subject which has led to the disembodied language of the global climate crisis. Artists seeking to expose the economics of power embedded within global catastrophes such as climate change, disrupt our comfortable understanding of the things around us and speculate on the conditions of living in urgent times.
Artists can collapse the boundaries between the organic and synthetic through experiential and sensory manifestations. They can demonstrate that the interdependent relationship between humans and the things they are surrounded by act upon each other - existing in a space of aesthetic awareness.
Shifting away from the notion of pure ideas and objective experiences we can unfold within a realm of interconnected relations as we advance towards a transcendental anthropocentrism.
Brave New Girls
Catalogue Essay for Undergarments, Curated by Ellen.Gif and Adriana Carney, 2017
Pornography, feminism and art have been interwoven since Justice Potter Stewart famously stated, ‘I know it when I see it’ to describe obscenity in the US Supreme Court in 1964. This statement emphasised the ambiguity and cultural subjectivity of defining pornography. Since the 1980’s and the birth of the post-porn art movement there has been a resurgence of contemporary artists exploring the role of the sexualised body in the age of the internet. Undergarments brings together five such artists who have adopted the aesthetics of pornography and popular culture to question how the internet is being used to renegotiate representations of the female body.
'A Communion of Stranger Gestures', published by Artspace and Schwartz City, 2017
The film mediates an intimate encounter between the bodies of the dancers and the audience. The rhythm of articulating bodies is constantly unfolding and stretched out as the camera glides fluidly over their forms. There is a certain eroticism to these movements as the film fixates on the length of a neck or a hand grasping a thigh. The performing body is underscored by an ever-transforming sense of time, pulling each action beyond their physical thresholds and into a new state of spiritual transcendence. Angelica Mesiti navigates the simultaneously joyous and enduring presence of dance in contemporary culture while revealing these processional actions are a conduit to the past. (Extract)
THE COSMOS WITHIN US
Helen Shelley, 'New Life Old Life New Life', Interlude Gallery Writers Program , 2017
terra firma, 'Speed = Distance/Time', issue 4 (black and white), 2016
IMAGES IN FLOW
Dematerialising the Archive
I recently curated an exhibition called Rheology>forms that flow which explored the fluid relationship between the surface of an artwork and its liminal, mutable boundaries. Artworks acted as hyperlinks to access one state or another shifting the materiality of the physical and digital across new thresholds. The exhibition explored the way the internet has begun to shape how art is being produced but perhaps more interestingly how art is being consumed.
Exhibitions are temporary, they exist in moments of time. What remains is documentation: photographs, hashtags, a catalogue, a website. With the significant shift to online platforms the experience of the event and the experience of seeing the event through documentation have become increasingly entangled. Artists are using Facebook’s Livestream to broadcast their openings and performances, images go onto Instagram as ‘teasers’ before the exhibition is open and documentation, not only of the artworks, but also of the exhibition design are piled online for people to ‘tag’ and ‘like’. This interactive element can only be experienced digitally and offers audiences a chance to respond and reflect on an exhibition, even if they haven’t physically seen it. The speed that we consume artworks, exhibitions and ideas is unprecedented but audiences are no longer passive spectators.
Rheology>forms that flow was only on display for 2 weeks but it’s the collateral that will remain. This essay will be published and it will be searchable online but the architectural and phenomenological experience of witnessing that exhibition, in that space and time is no longer possible. The internet has begun to act like an extended memory filled with the ghosts of exhibitions past. What is significant about the internet is that these archives can be decontextualised and recontextualised to be read in completely new ways. The future of the dematerialised archive will be explored through a new ontological model that will constantly transform and shift alongside time, rather than against it.
Rheology>forms that flow
Designed by Maddy Rowley
Catalogue Essay by Giorgia Gakas
Featuring: Zoe Kirkwood, Marty Cordoba, Nikolaus Dolman, Szymon Dorabialski, Ellen.gif, Thomas Hungerford, Zoe Kirkwood, Rachael McCallum, Liz Peniazeva, Sara Roberts, Sophie Penkethman Young, Courtney Wagner
Rheology> forms that flow adopts the chemical deformation of matter from solid to liquid to explore the way we experience images in the post-digital age. Concerned with images that are fractured, ephemeral and infinitely reproducible, this exhibition considers the journey from objects to data and back again.
These artists are preoccupied with a multiplicity of forms and unsettling objects that speak to the act of collaging, dissecting, montaging and assembling. A process that disavows the context and point of origin of an object or image. Here, artworks challenge our perception of the real through pictorial paradoxes where images and forms are rendered ambiguous - reflecting the internet's non-linear, rhizomic, glitched-out, stream of consciousness.
This exhibition is an attempt to dissect the complex and fluid relationship between the surface and the liminal, mutable boundaries of artworks. Each artwork acts as a hyper-link, accessing another physical or digital state contained within the architecture of the white cube. By complicating the state of images this exhibition moves across thresholds to question how the internet has begun to shape the production and consumption of art.
dLux MediaArts Sydney Morning Herald's This is Not Art , 2015
Mentor: Dr Andrew Yip
CONTEMPORARY'S CONTEMPORARIES, Catalogue Essay, 2014
Memory occupies the space in which Contemporary's Contemporaries is exhibited at The Rocks in Sydney Harbour. With its heritage listing, exposed piping and sandstone walls the gallery space exposes the remnants of times past. Beyond this physical space, several artists deal directly with personal, artistic or collective memories which will be explored in this essay.