SEVENTH is supported by Creative Victoria and Yarra City Council is a Major Supporter of the gallery.
We are a non-profit gallery mostly run by artists, for artists. SEVENTH is run by a paid Director supported by a volunteer Board of Directors, made of curators, writers, and people who labour in the arts, and creatives from other industries such as law, in our Board. We actively support these vocations across our program. Our exhibitions are free to attend and without appointment. The gallery is an incorporated association and does not have an owner, we have a rotating Board.
SEVENTH has and continues to be the space where new artists with exciting ideas have their first solo show, and we like supporting culturally diverse voices. Our exhibitions are experimental and critical, which means we show art about complex ideas. But we try to remain accessible to a range of audiences.
We have a new exhibition every four weeks across three galleries, some are solo shows and others are group shows. We pay artists a nominal fee to show, and there are no rental costs for the gallery. SEVENTH also has an Emerging Writers Program for new writers interested in art, and we do public programs, including readings, workshops, talks and live events.
We select our artists with an open call that happens twice every year. The Gallery Manager and the Board gathers together to assess these proposals, and we offer shows to the artists who align best with our values. If you are interested in applying, please look at our past program, to see if your art is compatible with our gallery. Most of our applications come from people that went to art school but we are trying to mix it up. Because we believe a degree should not be a barrier. Our open call is currently closed.
If you are an organisation and are interested in collaborating, please get in touch. We are especially keen on partnerships with community organisations. And want to work with creative initiatives outside of ‘contemporary art’, such as literature and film.
SEVENTH Gallery runs with shared values and we do not believe in hierarchies, careerism, or power. We make decisions collectively, and ensure everyone in the gallery has a say. We see ourselves as a community, who will continue to work together for the rest of our careers, across different projects and spaces.
Diego Ramirez makes art, writes about culture, and labours in the arts. In 2018, he showed his video work in a solo screening by ACCA x ACMI and he performed in Lifenessless at West Space x Gertrude Contemporary in 2019. He has shown locally and internationally at MARS Gallery, ACMI, Westspace, Torrance Art Museum, Hong-Gah Museum, Careof Milan, Buxton Cotntemporary, WRO Media Art Biennale, Human Resources LA, Art Central HK, Sydney Contemporary, and Deslave. His words feature in Art and Australia, NECSUS, un Projects, Runway Journal, Art Collector, and Australian Book Review. He is represented by MARS Gallery, Editor-at-large at Running Dog and Director at SEVENTH.
Lana Nyugen Co-Chair
Lana Nguyen is a producer, curator and community arts worker interested in experimental, site-specific and context-driven work. Interested in the space where community and contemporary practice align, she looks to create work that drives conversation and connection. Recently, she held the role of Executive Producer of the Due West Arts Festival with Footscray Community Arts Centre, and continues to work with organisations and programs such as MoreArt Public Art Festival, ArtPlay/SIGNAL, Platform Arts and Hyphenated Projects, as well as working on various independent projects with artists across artforms. In 2019, she was one of twenty Victorians appointed to Creative Victoria’s Creative Industries Advisory Committee to help shape the State government’s future Creative State strategy. She is a current Australia Council Future Leader for 2020/2021.
Eliki Reade Co-Chair
Eliki is a person of kai loma-Fijian heritage. Eliki is an independent producer, artist, and community arts facilitator, who is invested in representations of autonomy within the Oceanic community. This includes many forms of storytelling and the ways it is creatively embodied, engaging with work that centres the practice as a form of liberation, analysis and connection, whilst prioritising cultural exchange. As part of Eliki’s practice, they co-facilitate New Wayfinders.
Sarah Brasier Secretary
Sarah Brasier b. 1990 Ballarat is a current Gertrude Contemporary studio artist (2020-2023). She is interested in friendship as a creative motivator and aims to build a supportive community of people in the art world. Each of Sarah’s paintings might be viewed as a still frame from a life-long feminist revenge tale, punctuated by moments of despair, happiness and simple pleasures. These psychodramatic scenes incorporate astute observations, absurdist thoughts and draw on personal histories. She employs bright colours and humour to offset the work’s often dark origins. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art and graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2018. She also holds a Bachelor of Applied Science. In 2017 she completed a year of study at Joshibi in Tokyo after being awarded a prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship by the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs.
Born in China, Siying Zhou is an interdisciplinary artist. Her work reflects on interconnected subjects, such as the religious practice and cultural traditions in the life of the nomad, identity of individuals within the culture of globalization and the correlation of physical and imaginary spaces. Zhou has exhibited and participated in residencies nationally and internationally. She is recipient of the John and Mary Kerley International Travel Scholarship in 2016, and the National Gallery of Victoria Women’s Association Award twice at VCA Art Masters graduation exhibition opening ceremony in 2015 and 2017. Zhou is currently a candidate of Master of Fine Art at VCA.
Edwina Green Exhibition Liaison & Curatorial Mentor
Thea Jones Fundraising
Thea Jones is an artist of white Welsh/English settler heritage based in Naarm (Melbourne), and raised in rural NSW. Encompassing writing, textiles, and matrilineal crafts, her work is guided by theories of language, feminist and queer theory, folklore, and amateur histories. Thea is currently completing a Masters of Fine Art at the VCA, she is the General Manager at West Space, and is on the Board of Directors at SEVENTH Gallery.
Tamara Charlwood Lawyer
Zara Sigglekow Emerging Writers Coordinator
Zara Sigglekow is a writer and gallerist from Aotearoa. She is Co-Founder and Co-Director of FUTURES, a commercial art gallery in uptown Collingwood, Narrm. Zara was the Emerging Curator in the Helix Next Wave program in 2017 for which she presented a group exhibition Great Movements of Feeling that premiered at Gertrude Contemporary and is currently touring through regional Victoria through NETS Victoria. Zara also gained a place in the ACCA and RMIT Non/FictionLab writing workshop in 2019. She has written for a variety of publications including Art Guide Australia, Artlink and Un Magazine and catalogue essays. She formerly works as Associate Gallery Manager at Neon Parc, and she holds a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.
Imogen Kerr Media Strategist
Imogen is an artist with interests that sit at the intersection of ecofeminist philosophy, environmentalism and painting practice. She is also a Marketing Specialist who is excited to apply her commercial work experience and artistic sensibilities to the role of Media Strategist at SEVENTH Gallery.
Don't Don't (A'Walkin In A Forest)Kenneth SuicoGallery 205.05–27.05
At a distance, the forest is quite an imposing and intriguing site, full of concealment, a place of refuge, a site of anxiety, almost like reflecting our very own hopes, fears and desires. An immeasurable in-between from entry to exit, a place to hide, abandon, seek and find something that has been lost or missing.
The scope is representational and referential to things that are bound and laden with memory, opening up and revisiting thoughts through deep contemplation whilst moving through and momentarily dwell on certain things, which can manifest into songs, acts, speech. As these things open up, some cease, some only for a little bit but some stay yawning. They bounce around from tree to tree, and some pass through the gaps – the sway of enchantment.
HeirloomSkye Malu Baker, Nina Rose Prendergast, HeeJoon YounGallery 305.05–27.05
Heirlooms are a temporal force, a persistent echo, that pass from generation to generation. But
heirlooms are also familiar gifts that carry the complicated expectations and weighty desires of those who bestow them. In Heirloom, Nina Rose Prendergast, Skye Malu Baker and HeeJoon Youn all take a left-eyed look at the family jewels.
Youn’s attachment to heirlooms arises from being heirloom-less. In between continuous migration,
most heirlooms and objects that held sentimental values were disposed of, lost or stolen. Fantasising about tales of hand-me-down objects that reveal hidden powers or inanimate objects that gain life and power through the creator’s desire and sincerity, Youn creates an heirloom in attempts to manifest a childish wish to escape into a world of fantasy.
Focusing on rituals of giving, teaching and receiving, Baker is interested in the conceptual framework that imbues an heirloom with the powers of a talisman, or - at worst - the weight of a curse. A gift is never an uninterested gesture, and, within broader codes of behaviour, often seeks a repayment of some kind. Is it possible, however, for the receiver of a gift to take only what is needed and to make of the gift what they will?
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtainIona MackenzieGallery 105.05–27.05
Splayed throughout the space like a child’s abandoned toys are remnants of Arthurian patriarchy; of knights, quests, and kings. They settle dejectedly into the floor, once cared for but now forgotten. Though it has no head to hold, a knight’s helmet lies on its side, as if decapitated. Made from paper mache as opposed to steel, its dysfunctionality elicits pathos, for it could never offer the protection it performs. Nearby is a crucifix cast in jelly wax, and while the erect cross once branded crusading knights with spiritual security, here it is pathetically flaccid. Similarly, a king’s crown wilts at the tips to form a jester’s hat. The thin, transparent facade of a castle playset sheepishly announces that as a defensive structure, it couldn’t possibly defend a thing. And, perhaps predictably, circling this rubble of romance are resin rats. Such naturals at spreading disease! Particularly of the ideological kind.
Copper Spun LimbsYvette JamesGallery 206.04–29.04
Our data is inextricably a part of our bodies. Images scraped from the internet are fragments of ourselves in computerised form. Biometric data profiles our physical body, recording our individual attributes to differentiate us. Biometric systems mine our fingerprints, facial features, ear shape, vein patterns, DNA, voice, walking style, hand geometry. These digital recordings of our anatomy take our idiosyncrasies and extend them for the manipulation of third party agencies. Fragments of our bodies, computerised and sent throughout the world are held in data centres and distributed to companies for a price. These fragments are purchased, accessed, used against us for capitalist gain or to reinforce authoritarian regimes. This definitive bodily detritus is manipulated to re-affect our physical, active bodies, weaponising ourselves against us. How can we reclaim our body parts?
Katina Anapaikos is a prolific and longstanding member of Art Day South, a multi-arts studio run by Arts Access Victoria. For over two decades, Katina has developed her unique and intuitive style, often repeating signature gestures across multiple works. Her work is very expressive, communicating a sense of movement and rhythm through her use of lines and colour. Katina uses highly expressive mark making, often incorporating sweeping gestural line, interspersed with fast flurries of colour. Katina’s debut solo exhibition includes a number of large-scale compositions characteristic of her intuitive, gestural mark-making.
Supported by Arts Access Victoria
Kia ora , Kia oraChevron HassettGallery 306.04–29.04
Chevron’s solo-exhibition ‘ Kia ora, Kia ora’ is an introduction to his early video practices, exhibiting three works he made in 2019: ‘ Home is where my heart will rest’, ‘Tū-Ramarama’ and ‘Mauri Tū’. These works reference connection to land and place, the importance of community and the history of Māori migration in Australia.
Both ‘ Home is where my heart will rest’ and ‘Tū-Ramarama’ are intimate video portraits of people and place. The first being Chevron’s home Naenae in Wellington, Aotearoa and the second showing Māori communities in Sydney, Australia. The third video ‘Mauri Tū’, is a continuous video patterned like kowhaiwhai showing his ancestral home of Te Tairawhiti.
In the early 2000s while studying the light from galaxies, astronomers found the average colour of the universe – it was beige. From a shortlist of cream-themed names including Astronomer Almond, Univeige and the incredible Primordial Clam Chowder, they chose the name Cosmic Latte.
The naming of colours is important. Beige is a common synonym for blandness while ‘flesh’, ‘skin’ and ‘nude’ paint or crayon colours are often disproportionately Caucasian. Coffee has also been used as a metaphor for homogenisation before. In the ‘beige theory’ of race, globalisation would see all humans blend into the same ‘latte’ colour. But this theory is scientifically false – migration results in greater genetic diversity. Unlike paint, genes don’t blend. They rearrange.
Cosmic Latte brings you beautiful astronomical nomenclature, inviting viewers into critical inquiry and highlighting the importance of scientific research, while quietly taking the piss out of vanilla Live, Laugh, Love culture.
It would be a nice placecurated by EFFAGallery 310.03–01.04
Featuring artists Dean Cross and Tributary Project (Geoff Robinson, Ying-Lan Dann, Saskia Schut, Benjamin Woods).
‘It would be a nice place’ explores what it means to clean up Australia from within the colonial project. Working through water, these works explore the entanglements of violence and temporalities that saturate the landscape—both real and reimagined. Unmooring ideas around aquatic flows as naturally cleansing, they ask us instead: when the water rises, who feels the flood?
The exhibition features media works by Dean Cross and Tributary Project (Geoff Robinson, Ying-Lan Dann, Saskia Schut, Benjamin Woods). Worimi artist Dean Cross’s Pauline (A Portrait) revisits the Toowoomba floods as a metaphor for the colonial project. Silurian Geology speaks to a specific moment within and in connection to the lower Moonee Ponds Creek tributary system, where the concreted channel meets a siltstone rock face from the Silurian geologic period.
Tributary Project is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants program, Bus Projects, and
TEMPLEcurated by Michael KennedyGallery 210.03–01.04
Featuring artists Michael Kennedy, Seojin Kim, KAITO Itsuki, Waka Yoshida, KaYoung CHOI
Never knowing why our paths cross
Nor when it may occur
Your life so far away
Two stories beneath distant skies
The vertical thread is you, the horizontal thread is me
The cloth it weaves may keep someone warm
Fray after searching for the purpose of life
Fray after stumbling while chasing a dream
What to make of these threads?
Trembled with loneliness in the wind
The vertical thread is you, the horizontal thread is me
The cloth it weaves may cover someone’s wounds
The vertical thread is you, the horizontal thread is me
When crossed paths
It’s called fate
Miyuki Nakajima - Ito (糸; Thread)
Translated by Motoki Higa
Anthropic Rocks: a new stage in the rock cycleNicholas BurridgeGallery 210.02–04.03
An anthropic rock is an artificial rock, a rock made by humans. We are surrounded by them, concrete, glass, ceramic. Anthropic rocks are a new rock type in the rock cycle which is the concept that illustrates the transition between sedimentary, igneous metamorphic and now anthropic rocks. The anthropic rocks in this exhibition are emblematic of the geologic age we live in, one defined by human trace upon and manipulation of the earth. These artworks are an inquiry into our technocratic society capable of mimicking the most dramatic of the earth’s forces, volcanism. In this exhibition the volcanic rock basalt is transformed into obsidian by my hand and modern technology, the resulting sculptures an uncanny recreation of nature.
The rocks of this planet hold its story, 4.5 billion years of history. When the present is past, and our
history is held in the anthropic rocks of today what stories will they tell. These artworks are an inquiry into our technocratic society capable of mimicking the most dramatic of the earth’s forces, volcanism. In this exhibition the volcanic rock basalt is transformed into obsidian by my hand and modern technology, the resulting sculptures an uncanny recreation of nature. The rocks of this planet hold its story, 4.5 billion years of history. When the present is past, and our history is held in the anthropic rocks of today what stories will they tell.
benefits of doubtGen TownsendGallery 310.02–04.03
‘benefits of doubt’ is a game and satirical company playing on the stereotypes and power dynamics in the art world. Players are divided into beggars and choosers and must shift the blame or benefit from doubt. The game’s title references the precarity of being an artist and the ways in which institutions benefit and limit artists’ visibility and financial stability.
Questions about diversity and reports about inequality in arts and cultural institutions are spread
throughout the character cards and website: benefitsofdoubt.com. Amidst simple cartoons and images of smiling artists, the game references data that aims to unsettle the real players in the game and question individual complicity in social structures.
Sample games will be hosted on opening night and throughout the exhibition at SEVENTH. All are
welcome to play the game or purchase a limited-edition card deck, with proceeds going to local
organisations that are addressing barriers in the arts.
God Is In The MountainsJenn TranGallery 110.02–04.03
While it is projected that lithium-ion batteries will power our green future, I wonder about whose
territory will be left powerless in this contradictory return. Reading Todd C. Frankel’s Washington Post lithium-ion investigation, I learn mining cheap Manganese, Cobalt, Lithium and Graphite, put extreme exploitation of basic human rights.
In this examination of power- industrially and metaphorically, I pose the battery as a religious entity, compositing looped animations in Google blue skies, letting it become its own traveller of power, environment, territory and technology.
I am taught that technology is powerful- a gateway for the infinite but I am not so sure anymore. “God is in the mountains” a farmer affected by Graphite says. “When mining comes and the grassland is dug up, people believe worse disasters will come. It destroys the mountain god.”
Funding by SIGNAL Arts, City of Melbourne
Holy shit! Two Cakes!Dale CollierGallery 313.01–04.02
Holy shit! Two cakes! is an experimental project that uses less fancy modes of painting to agitate the toxic love affair between contemporary art and late-stage capitalism. This exhibition forms part of a wider body of work that slaps together text, image and ignorance, before chucking it into a half-full bucket of unrequited angst and riot. Like many unfinished performances these works will continue to harp-on about the disintegration of authenticity and cultural form, but aside from all the distorted politics and words left unsaid - a larger crowd will gather around to demolish a cheap cake.
stick head hereJemi Gale + Brayden van MeursGallery 213.01–04.02
‘It was laid down at the start that the work was to be done ‘unseen, unheard and unknown’. My
anonymity was to be preserved. When the task is finished I shall hand the account to my Master for use at Her absolute discretion.’
Unseen Unheard Unknown repositions experiences I had surrounding a prominent cult that inhabited the Dandenong Ranges throughout the late 1900s into contexts of performativity and the ambiguity and mutation of retold memories. It is a story about magick, syncronicities and the third choice. Over the course of several mettings during 2018 I met with anonymous, who towards the end of our time together gifted me a painting while on the premises of SEVENTH Gallery in the Gertrude St days. The painting was, according to anonymous, a portrait of me passed down by extraterrestrials. Later in the preceding months, energised through the power of psychedelics, a ‘presence’ tried to remove my spirit from the body I inhabit.
Can I call you?Claire Bostock, Michelle Kerrin, and Marley Holloway-Clark, Curated by Marley Holloway-ClarkeGallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 325.11–18.12
Can I call you? Speaks to the importance of kinship and however you create it. I am connected to them and they to me. You are connected to me and I to you. They are connected to you and you to them.
Can I call you? is an inaugural funded opportunity for a First Nations curator to curate a show across all spaces at SEVENTH Gallery. Originally planned for 2020, it was postponed to 2021 due to lockdowns.
IMAGE: Claire Bostock, Transit, photo by Claire Bostock, 2021
The opening of this exhibition is sponsored by Bodriggy
. . to conclude with ellipses . . .Josephine MeadGallery 205.08–19.11
… We are all fragile. So very fragile. Even the very strongest of us. Fragile like wounds in the sky. Colliding and circling and sometimes exploding on top of each other or against each other, on account of the fragility. I lean back and rest on the moon. Language draws us closer and abruptly marks us apart. We have survived loneliness before. I am in constant sea motion, currently not held by any body of water. I can’t promise that things won’t unravel. But I do know that we are different now to how we went in.
To conclude with ellipses …
To love you …
To begin …
Post-Christian CampJordan Azcune curated by Michaela BearGallery 107.07–31.07
‘Camp taste is, above all, a mode of enjoyment, of appreciation – not judgement. Camp is generous. It wants to enjoy.’
– Susan 55:13.
Joyful. Generous. Post-Christian. Camp.
For Jordan Azcune Camp is Art, Religion, Life.
Post-Christian Camp is a playful queer celebration re-claiming religious aesthetics. Through sculptural wall works referencing spiritual iconography and floral ikebana displays, Post-Christian Camp draws upon Jordan’s own conflicted relationship to faith growing up queer and raised Jehovah’s Witness. Flowers, fragrant candle wax and archways become offerings of reflection for gallery visitors in a contemporary altar space. Through generous moments of grandeur and optics Jordan proposes alternative spiritual narratives that rethink and complicate connections to religion and queer culture.
‘I’m not coming up with answers, I’m coming up with more questions. I’m not interested in definities, I’m interested in grey area. That grey area is actually a lot of colour.’
New installations by Jordan Azcune, curation and exhibition text by Michaela Bear.
Quote: Sontag, S. “Notes on Camp.” United Kingdom: Penguin Books Limited, 2018 (originally published in 1964), p.13.
Image credit: Jordan Azcune, Ecclesiclasm, 2021. Photography by Louis Lim.
The Seventh SealSean Miles, Bon Mott and Agnes WhalanGallery 107.07–31.07
Sean Miles, Bon Mott and Agnes Whalan present an elaborate installation that considers how queer rhythms flow into processes of collaboration, exchange and transformation.
These artists transfer energy through conversation, art making, ritual, performance and gameplay to conjure and manifest concepts based on their intuition, research, ancestry, personal experiences and visions for the future. Their works interweave trickster stories, quantum physics, spirituality, social activism, queer ecologies, humour, horror and the rockstar. They work with a punk sensibility that challenges and rejects dominant modes of Western colonial and heteronormative frameworks and operation.
With their site specific work The Seventh Seal (a reference to Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film set during the Black Death) Sean Miles and Bon Mott intertwine repurposed studio materials with personal objects to create mobile sculptures of symbols related to expansive identities and Agnes Whalan transforms a game of chess into a song and dance.
Looking Left and RightSol FernandezGallery 306.07–19.11
When my daughter was born, I did autopilot activities.
Packing snacks into tin lunchboxes and shoving almost empty packs of baby wipes into the pocket behind the passenger seat of my car. It’s welcomed there by scrunched up receipts that never made it to the bin and other badly folded important documents I’ve been ignoring. Auto pilot looks like baggy jeans, a dirty fleece jacket, wearing house shoes everywhere and not ever being fully on top of things.
The version of myself pre-pregnancy was still figuring themselves out. Sometime’s the only thing that reminds me of who I am is a letter I got from someone close to me, specifically this line ‘you’d be a milf at any age’.
I’m a twenty two year old mother and I make paintings with my two year old daughter. I make works about how I feel; about myself, about other people, about the past, present, future and about the confusions and contradictions of life & how they sit within me. I make works with the extension of me, right next to me. My daughter, from what I know, makes works about how she feels and who she is. She is also processing life.
Looking Left and Right is constant as a mother. Scanning every room and situation, planning every routine, looking back at where you’ve got it right or wrong and figuring out what it means to be a mother. It’s about introspection and reflection of life pre and post pregnancy and navigating motherhood and self, trying to escape autopilot mode.
Image credits: Blu Fernandez Lennon & Sol Fernandez, the sun’s in my eyes, acrylic on canvas, 2020
@dloserSab D’SouzaNight Screen17.06–30.06
‘@dloser’ (2021) is a compilation of Tiktoks made by Sab D’Souza at the start of 2021. This series considers footage from TikTok as found objects which reflect how digital mediation has shifted, compressed, and reshaped their relationship to self, and (inter)personal relationships. ‘@dloser’ is a haphazard non-linear archive that explores gender, mental health and the children’s cartoon show ‘Bluey’.
The Image UnfoldsAlex WalkerGallery 128.04–22.05
The Image Unfolds explores the ability of architecture and projected image to work in symbiosis, forming a reflexive relationship: from three dimensional space, a two dimensional image is captured, only to become three dimensional again as projected light, wrapping and warping with the architecture of the gallery space. Images locomote to momentarily align with architectural elements and interlace with their bisected counterparts, embodying a poetic repetition of loss and longing.
Other interventions encourage a particular way of seeing which highlights architectural features and phenomenological encounters with the space itself. In The Image Unfolds, architecture becomes a lens through which to view the world, much like the eye of a camera which is directed by bodily movement. Images become expanded and unfixed: gallery windows crop their contents visually, shifting and changing as you adjust positions, the plane of a wall is also an image, four walls can become a frame if you look hard enough; then the image will unfold.
This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Centre for Projection Art, Artist in Residence Program.
The Centre for Projection Art, Artist in Residence Program is currently
supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and
the Besen Family Foundation.
cherub rockFelix AtkinsonGallery 120.03–17.04
I often think about the song ‘1979’ by the Smashing Pumpkins. That floating guitar at the start seems to hold all the wistfulness, sadness, hope, and redemption of nostalgia and memory that I try to get across in my own work. ‘1979’ puts together a cluster of images that was more about an undefined feeling than a message. And in my own paintings, perhaps I ask a similar question: “You know this feeling?”, hoping that the answer is “I do, tell me more”.
What is important to me is to create paintings that are honest, intimate, and deeply rooted in both the past and the present.
I hope that there is a degree of sensitivity contained within the paintings that allows space for the viewer to connect on whatever terms they feel. The memories you hold in your head, the ones you carry in your body. They are sometimes beautiful, sometimes painful, but always a reminder that you are alive on this earth and that you do exist.
New PhotographersSam Forsyth-Gray, Bec Martin, Sorcha Wilcox, Kat Wilkie24.02–13.03
The PHOTO 2021 New Photographers exhibition showcases the work of four emerging photographers whose practice explores alternative approaches to visual storytelling. Each photographer was selected by SEVENTH Gallery and PHOTO 2021 from a shortlist of nominees put forward by established artists from five of Australia’s leading art and photographic schools.
The exhibition features the work of Sam Forsyth-Gray, Bec Martin, Sorcha Wilcox, and Kat Wilkie.
Big Super Fun Love Dance PartyKathy SarpiNight Screen10.08–14.08
Drawing inspiration from her parent’s wedding video in 1989 “Big Super Fun Love Dance Party” celebrates love as a dance video revolving around the exchanges of two rather introverted people. The groovy animation style is accompanied by the eccentric, funky beats of William Onyeabor’s song “Hypertension”. An awkward but exciting bop, Kathy choses to draw attention to the subtle interactions and expressions of people; attempting to reveal that the real reason we all love to come together is to party, (or to live, laugh, love etc.)
I’m a dragZara SullyNight Screen03.08–07.08
I’m a drag, you’re a drag, and so is everything else. Life is a giant drag show, performing for the
ones you love, the ones you admire, and the ones you aren’t too sure about at all. I’m a drag
explores the experience of drag through a non-binary body. A body whose experience of
gender can never be quite expressed outwardly. A silent lipsynch, in reverse, messing with the
audience’s perception, the perception of the artist, the perception of drag as a whole. A warped
representation of reality.
third eyeLucy FosterNight Screen27.07–31.07
I asked my Mother to perform while I sat opposite and filmed her face at close-range. I asked her to look at me as if she did not know me, as if I had not come from her. I used the camera as a third eye to record the experience.
My intention was to distance myself from her, so that when one of us departs this earth it will be easier to grieve. Instead, it brought us closer together. It was only a performance - the device between us could never capture or portray the truth of our relationship.
Haptic BoundaryAaron Christopher ReesNight Screen20.07–24.07
Sometimes I catch myself fantasising about throwing my smart-phone out the nearest open window. Then I remind myself, “I need it.”
Haptic boundary is a performance video piece inspired by gesturally interfacing with touch screens, and the often anxious claustrophiba of being attached to and confined to personal devices.
1 de Julio, 1981Emmanuel Rodriguez-ChavesNight Screen13.07–17.07
(present) No.1: enduring (non-place) is a reiteration of a video experiment (present) No.1
which I did in 2019. Employing the method of ‘Super(im)position’ 1 , a video technique I
developed through my ongoing artistic research, the video experiment invokes the
question: how to seize the presence of the non-existence in digital video?
This video was filmed as a documentation of my video experiment (present) No.1 (when I
tested at the Photography Department at Victorian College of the Arts in 2019). The video
experiment itself was devised to be shown as a two-channel video projection to enable the
stroboscopic effects from the flickering light (and to give presence to the ‘gaps’ which are
often considered as ghostly non-existence in digital video medium). The current spatial and
temporal conditions offer me a unique opportunity to repurpose this documentation video.
Video medium captures and encapsulates the (virtual) space and time in which the
experiment we observe was (actually) taking in place. Through the gallery window, there
might exist an extra dimension of space and time, an encrypted (non-place), where nobody
is present, yet everybody is given presence.
Signal IILeela SchaubleNight Screen22.06–26.06
Signal II single channel video, especially adapted for SEVENTH Night Screen, is a work created from the LABVERDE artist immersion program in the Amazon Rainforest. The video dives into the disconnect between nature, people and science and aims to reflect on the complexities and mystic qualities held by self-sustaining ecosystems. LED lights placed within the landscape aims to begin a dialog between viewer and nature. Each light sends off an SOS signal that has been obscured by competing signals around it. Schauble takes a contemplative approach on how we, as global citizen, can take responsibility in connecting with nature and to listen to the needs of the environment around us. Performance by Raquel Maveq.
No FatsMauricio MuñozNight Screen15.06–19.06
Mauricio Muñoz is an artist based in Tijuana, Mexico and co-director of Deslave.
Working mainly with performance, painting and neon installations, his
work explores elements of pop culture to analyze the power dynamics,
sometime racist and classist, within queer communities. His work has
been exhibited in solo shows at the Centro Cultural Tijuana and Biquini
Wax EPS, and collective exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art
San Diego, the San Diego Art Institute, Encuentro Nacional de Arte
Joven, and Rivera among others.
In 2018 he received a BA in Communications Studies from UABC. He is
the co-director of Deslave, an artist-run space and curatorial project
based in Tijuana, where he has worked on curatorial projects for Human
Resources (Los Angeles), Material Art Fair (Mexico City), Swab Art Fair
(Barcelona) and SEVENTH Gallery (Melbourne). Currently, he’s curating
the Eight Miradas Biennial. In 2019 he was named as the mexican
emerging visual artist of the year by La Tempestad magazine.
80 WaysElla SowinskaNight Screen08.06–12.06
80 Ways is an observational video work documenting the on-set collaboration between Ella Sowinska and her mother as they work together to dramatise a chapter of Sowinska’s mother’s erotic novel, written under the pseudonym Sandy Mayflower.
Confessions of a Critical Arts PracticeKate O’ Boyle7UP05.03–27.03
Confessions of a critical arts practice (2020), documents a series of confessions made to Catholic priests about my attempts to engage in institutional critique. Raised Catholic, I experienced latent feelings of guilt as my practice took an increasingly critical stance towards the Church. What began as a sudden impulse to seek out some priestly advice, resulted in a year-long undertaking that saw me travel across Australia, seeking out absolution.
What remains of my time in the confessional booth are hours of audio documenting my confessions. While the priests and I sat divided by the infamous grille, we managed to engage in discussions about the place of contemporary art in the Church, the differences between ethics and sin, and the contemporary Church’s stance on institutional critique.
N EȌ ǦĹĮT C H CIŢYDanny JarrattGallery 205.03–27.03
In an immersive installation of digital paintings, videogame design and sculptural work, N EȌ ǦĹĮT C H CIŢY critiques the heteronormativity consistently presented in videogames. Inspired by writings about heteronormativity by Judith Butler and the queer potential of the glitch by Judith Halberstram, Neo Glitch City offers a mediocre videogame were you control a villager in a fantasy city. All the doors are locked, and everyone only talks about heterosexuality. Exhausted and bored, you leave the city and head into a cave where you find a new home. You are left in a disorientating world of technicolor and pixelation. Left to puzzle over what order might look like, where the walls might be, how we might navigate the un-navigated.
For the lost, they can refer to the paintings in the exhibition space. They function as paintings and maps.
Funding Acknowledgements: Helpmann Academy
Symposia: This show is dedicated to K-pop girl group, TWICE. I love you.Ari TampubolonGallery 105.03–27.03
Delving into the history of soft power politics and its broader relevance in the scope of contemporary exhibition practices, ‘Symposia’ is Ari Tampubolon’s debut stage. Examining cultural productions of a collectivised image through performance and research, Tampubolon’s work questions the structural exhibition and its formal qualities. There is, however, a tinge of irony that cuts through the spine of this critical approach to culture; pointing towards a fallacy implies an existence within and a thorough understanding of the ecology in which this fallacy is situated. Cognitive. Critiquing institution warrants a critique of the self. Dissonance.
‘Symposia’ levels the mechanics behind contemporary art and dialectics at the limelight. Surfacing the moral paradoxes within the dynamics of cultural production, exposing the process of institutionalising the happily resistant artist, who also wants to be like, a really sick dancer.
Delivered OrdersEzz MonemGallery 106.02–28.02
A series of images documenting my time working as an Uber Eats delivery person during my first year as a full-time art student in Melbourne. While making deliveries, I carried a small Diana Mini film camera in my pocket that divides each 35mm frame into two half-frames. The first half-frame of each image depicts the restaurant where I pick up the order, while the second depicts the destination where I deliver it. Each photograph is accompanied by the date and time of the order, the money I earned making the delivery, and a line tracing the path I took with my bike.
I started working with Uber Eats to make money, but soon became more interested in the delivery process for the images that it produced. I take this possibility as a motivation to continue working in an unremarkable job, transforming labor into a kind of fieldwork, studying the emergent phenomenon of online third-party food delivery from the perspective of the delivery person. The resulting works virtually connect places in the city through the photography process and the lines that depict these relations.
Born in 2000 in a Russian city Kaliningrad Sasha Khomenko emigrated in Australia at the age of 7. Speaking and thinking in English, in her works Sasha tries to fetch the glimpses of Russian idioms and images, that would emerge in her mind when she is around her family. Having spent most time of her life in Australia, Sasha wraps the Russian nucleus of her works in the Australian environment.
Sunken Links is a result of Sasha’s collaboration with a Russian artist Eror Toy. By working with Eror Toy, Sasha was reintroduced to the Russian culture from a local perspective. Together Sasha and Eror Toy dissect individual and collective memory by vandalising a typical Russian lift cabin. They recreated the design of the cabin which is identical all across Russia and scratched on its walls their living chronicles in the form of catchy phrases and caricature drawings.
TOLK Gallery, Arsenal/National Centre for Contemporary Arts.
The Screw of a Door’s LatchWhitney ArlanaGallery 206.02–28.02
The Screw of a Door’s Latch is a work that engages with technological growth and the vulnerabilities and fear it can create. The work stems from a personal experience of living in an environment where such problems are becoming an epidemic. When using public bathrooms, I’d notice dozens of holes in the cubicle walls lled with toilet paper. I saw warnings in South Korean female facebook groups about cameras being hidden in taxis, subways, change-rooms and even assumably safe hotel rooms. The footage and photos are streamed onto anonymous websites where subscribers watch woman unannounced in private moments, unaware of their audience. This leaves woman with feelings of vulnerability, paranoia and the fear of being publicly displayed. Subsequently, many are dismissed for being overreactive or irrational.
This is where the work departs and aims to convey the lived experience, both through the chaos and calm of potentially being watched.
Please note this exhibition makes reference to peeping in public spaces.
Conscious SystemsMolly Rose StephensonGallery 109.01–31.01
Conscious Systems has been created to reflect upon occultism in the twenty-first century, as well as to draw upon Timothy Morton’s ideology of ‘the new natural’- where humans and nonhumans can co-exist in harmony through transformation and rebirth. My aim was to create a habitat for these mutations and objects to exist within. These sculptures are a combination of whimsical, murky moulds of soap, tea candles, toxic kitsch materials and ceramics. I manipulate and assemble these anarch forms to allude to metamorphosis, seduction, violence and ruin. Burning, melting, oozing, thawing and leaking are some of the tactile procedures I engage within as re ections of mankind’s violence and brutality towards nature. My installations have tended to evoke conversations about faerie junkyards and the dichotomy of the organic and synthetic. Conversely, this has also lead me to want to investigate the obscurity of the occultist and supernatural in further depth, as opposed to merely the fantasy of folklore and growths.
Defying DamageEdwina Green7UP09.01–31.01
Defying Damage is Edwina Green’s debut solo show, including works created between 2018 and 2019. The erasure of Indigenous epistemologies within Australia’s psyche, is an act that is continually embodied, which bleeds itself into the postcolonial illusion; the narrative of this removes Indigenous people, work, voice and bodies from the metaphorical microphone, and neglects our ways of being at the forefront of existence.
Edwina’s practice that is experimental, engaging and interdisciplinary speaks volumes to her being as an Aboriginal person existing off country, in an urban environment, and how this is a relative existence for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She creates conversations that questions how our own interactions with space, ecological systems and institutions inevitably play a role in the erasure of Indigenous peoples and practices. Who’s job is it to decolonise? Who is responsible for reclaiming culture and language? Who is playing the biggest role in the degradation and destruction of our land?
Thank you to the Menzies Foundation who funded the making of one of these works.
The Second CharadeKatie PaineGallery 209.01–31.01
The installation The Second Charade adopts the structure of a board game to explore the methods we use to record and understand history and time. For this exhibition, Katie Paine seeks to trouble the power structures inherent within the institutions that preserve and disseminate information. During the early Middle Ages, the Church acted as a gatekeeper for the majority of printed material. The advent of book–binding and the birth of illuminated manuscripts led to the amassing of transcribed texts that formed a cornerstone of the canon of Western knowledge. This project references the theological reforms now known as The Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-1541): an occurrence during which the Crown destroyed monastic libraries, purging written material it considered deviant or blasphemous. This exhibition imagines a space in which the accepted linear narrative of history can be unpacked and possibly reconfigured.
Culture is stored in thousands of years of tradition, but is born through smaller intuitive ideas, accidents and interpretations. Since we live in a society that has and is becoming more globalised, the mixtures of cultures are more varied than ever before.
New globalised linguistic and cultural varieties are not built into ideas of what we hold as authentic cultural bodies. They are the vernacular hybrids that – with a different idea of home -; are thrown into the ‘multicultural’ soup.
The hybrid’s indifference is that they aren’t of a single, ancient civilisation; rather of several. They’re home is plurally vernacular, they identify with mixed cultures of the future, identities that haven’t been invented yet. And so, their instinctive need for archetypal tradition is thrown into confusion.
The archetypes of culture give us comfort in our identity. Partaking in traditions, ceremonies and other cultural practices brings communities together. And so, even people without a concrete cultural identity need to partake in cultural traditions. Across the world our cultural landscapes are overlapping and so we must be decisive, resourceful and empathic; but for the most part: Creative.
The cure for the alienation that hybrids face – from homelessness, mass migration and displacement – is to identify with a cultural language of our own. So that we can feel at home like our ancestors did. The time has come for hybridism to be categorised. For the idiosyncrasies of multiculturalism to be represented. We must glorify each event of cultural mixing, we must present ceremonious traditions of cultural hybridism.
Bring on the IMMI.
Inside JokesGabriella D’CostaGallery 104.12–20.12
Inside Jokes is a mostly auditory exploration into the uncomfortable convergence of humour and shame that arises while confronting the familial practices that come to shape us. The project was initiated with a focus on linguistic and phonological discomfort: being a first generation migrant and the fly-on-the-wall feeling of being simultaneously privy to but not vocally adept with both culture’s sociolects.
Making field recordings of my family’s conversations to realise this phenomenon aurally, I found that the source of discomfort ran deeper than accents and phrases alone; it was rooted in a recurrent and inescapable content: religion. The soundscape of Inside Jokes is accompanied by a handful of visual cues to illustrate this familial space which holds, within banal effects, the gravity of earnest belief. Together the works disclose the rituals, anecdotes and ephemera of my religious and cultural upbringing. It is only the start of an ongoing investigation and disclosure.
It is said that an individual’s accent becomes solidified within the first year of life; from then on the mouth shapes itself around the oral nuances of the mother tongue no matter what other languages one learns and speaks. As a first generation Australian of Indian migrant parents, I’ve always shrunk with embarrassment about the vocal inflections which inhibit me from both comfortably ordering Indian food and attempting pub-style banter.
My sibling shares this experience. It’s not just how we say ‘chapati’ or ‘how ya going’, but that we choose certain English words which indicate a British Indian vernacular: take for example a humiliating high school encounter where I uttered the phrase ‘swimsuit’:
“why don’t you just say bathers!!! Who wears a suit to the pool!!!”)
My parents, however, comfortably and playfully exchange in a lingo interspersed with both Tamil idioms and their interpretations of Australian slang: my mum insists, whenever she calls, that it’s ‘just for a chinwag’. While initially intending to demonstrate this sociolinguistic niche through recordings of my family’s voices, the content of the recordings revealed a crucial undercurrent; the impact of religion and class; How we talk is inextricable from what we talk about and what we talk about speaks to what we value – cyclically informing how we talk. Attempting to capture simple examples of Indian and Australian vernacular, the definitions filtered into religious and cultural lessons, and unavoidable reflections on my familial upbringing beyond vocal trappings.
The outer suburbs of Melbourne become home to migrant groups and the working class, so outer suburban churches, in their accoutrements and practices, develop a culture of their own – projecting the divine and supernatural not through leather-bound hymn books and pipe organs but through primary school-grade hi-fi systems accompanied by Word-Art riddled Powerpoint presentations.
The discrepancy between the seriousness of the subject matter – faith, morality, divinity – and the vehicles for conveyance – rhetoric, Powerpoints, plastic icons and containers, produces a complex of humour and disavowal for those who must reckon with carving out an individual identity while confronting and respectfully acknowledging their cultural history. The inescapable cringe here however only heightens the gravitas of religion, something similar in many ways to camp.
Susan Sontag describes in Notes on Camp that Pure Camp is always naive. “The pure examples of Camp are unintentional; they are dead serious.” It is exactly this naïveté or purity which transmutes something ad hoc, cheap, gimmicky, throwaway, or mundanely ritualistic into that which it stands in for; a vessel for sanctity. Families attempt to bestow their beliefs, practices and languages as legacies and much of the niche of comical discomfort is due to the tightrope negotiation of how much of our lineage we give away through our language. Inside Jokes draws upon that tenuous balance between the earnest and the cringe. It is with reluctant but loving acceptance that we oblige our families and unfold how they have shaped us.
Woolworths Orchid is a video installation by artist Sophie Penkethman-Young. The work continues her interest in the mass consumption of digital and natural objects.
RinduBadra AjiGallery 207.11–29.11
Rindu, in Bahasa Indonesia, is the feeling of longing for loved ones or a familiar place. Drawing from his personal photographic archives and real encounters, Badra Aji puts together a semi-narrative work that sits between the melancholic and absurd. Images are cut and reconfigured, portraits are partially covered, whilst parts of the images are left empty. Using drawings as visual poetry, Aji presents the idea that the feeling of being lost has nothing to do with our physical location. Displacement does not emerge from the absence of home. Instead, it comes up when one’s cultural and philosophical background is not understood by their surroundings. Being displaced is not the same as being in the wrong place; displacement is a result of being unwelcomed.
The Bone Is The SeedMJ FlamianoGallery 107.11–29.11
Through listening to a Tagalog language learning podcast, I come to the realisation that the word ‘butó’, meaning ‘bone’ in English also has the secondary meaning of ‘seed’. It is through this innocuous discovery that I am reminded of the memory of my mum, a first-generation migrant from the Philippines, referring to the pit and the seed of the mango as the ‘bone’; a frequent error in her speech, which as a child, I would instinctively correct with irritation. By reflecting on the nuances of translation I reconsider my identity and relationship with the languages of Tagalog and English in a series of drawings and photographic prints, derived from the discarded husks of fruit, seeds, and childhood experience.
We Do Not Have Enough to Satisfy Our BelliesEsha Pillay & Quishile Charan7UP07.11–29.11
1920 marked the end of all Girmit contracts under indentured labour. Indenture—the colonial sugar economy built for Empire and colonial states such as Australia and New Zealand—was crumbling under the labour sabotage acts of resistance led by coolies or girmitiya. The 1920 strike was inevitable: tensions in the country were reaching a zenith as food shortages increasingly affected girmitiya; the cost of living had surpassed daily wages; Empire was grasping for a control that was, at last, surpassing its reach; state-sanctioned paranoia was growing; and anxieties that the British Empire would introduce a new system of bonded labour spread across the coolie community. The girmitiya were awaiting their new future and decided to take political action to combat a colonial state that had only seen them as labouring units—animals that toiled in the fields.
The phrase “we do not have enough to satisfy our bellies” was uttered, screamed, and pleaded throughout historical moments up to and during the 1920 strike. This new exhibition re-visits the strike through archival material, secondary sources, oral accounts, and newspaper articles to dismantle the ever-present colonial and patriarchal voices that dominate and steal these narratives from the female girmitiya who led this strike. We Do Not Have Enough to Satisfy Our Bellies centres female girmitiya acts of resistance as brave and courageous at a time of increased violence. This exhibition will unfold both onsite and online, examining how descendents take up their responsibilities to respect and uphold their female ancestors—women routinely forgotten within Girmit history. The research surrounding the strike will be presented online as a shared labour between Esha Pillay and Quishile Charan, this collaboration is a form of maintaining and building friendships that act as a contemporary undertaking of resistance tactics led by female girmitiya, strengthening bonds for female descendents, and pool the few resources at our disposal. Charan will highlight key points of the 1920 strike onsite through hand-made textile banners that adorn and memorialise these acts of resistance. In conjunction with an essay created in collaboration between Charan and Pillay, the exhibition will include commissioned texts from Kris Prasad and Roshika Deo, with further historical information unfolding across an Instagram residency.
Undoing History’s Spell on Bad Women: Counter-colonial narratives of the female Girmit role in the 1920 labour strike
Esha Pillay & Quishile Charan
RepairClaire Bridge and Yuqing ChenGallery 110.10–01.11
Claire Bridge and Yuqing Chen confront legacies of gendered violence and cultural oppression. Together they highlight language as sites of culturally speci c transmission of violence. Chen speaks from her Chinese Mandarin background and Bridge from her culturally Deaf / Auslan background with her body-associated, spatial use of visual language. Together, their works share a language of materials; both using fabric, embroidery, stitching and weaving and incorporating these in various ways with digital images, photography or found objects.
Claire Bridge draws on the pivotal essay by Audre Lorde, The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, to confront the nature of silence and silencing alone with its embodied experience through soft sculptural works.
Yuqing Chen uses photography and stitched mark making, both viscerally imposed on the body and rupturing the surface of photographs, elucidating Confucian instructions on obedience and the role of women in the Chinese family.
“About 99% of our body is made up of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. When you cut yourself, the wreckage of the stars spills out. To a vast cosmic being, each of us would appear to be… on the verge of disassemblage and dissolution.”
Void is an installation on the verge of disassemblage, it has a hint of mise en scène, traverses the intersections of anthropology, consciousness, metaphysics and tourism. Inspired by Lynchian films of the surreal, the objects which inhabit real and imagined narratives of growth and dissolution.
It dials up the living dialogue among silent things. Left unattended and oscillating between the staged and the unselfconscious, these objects exist in an abundant exchange between over past and the future, the animate and the inanimate, the true and the false, the artisanal and the industrial, the secular and the sacred, reality and fiction.
Edwards Gammin CafeTahnee Edwards and Talgium Edwards7UP12.09–04.10
Welcome to Edwards’ Gammin Café! In this exhibition Tahnee Edwards of Gammin Threads has joined forces with her dad, Uncle (Choco) Talgium Edwards, to explore the black history and spirit of Fitzroy and dirty Gerty through their respective mediums including: Graphics, installation and wood burning. Drawing not only from Uncle Talgiums personal connection with Fitzroy, but his work on No Jurisdiction, the works will be an opportunity to explore the entitlement of gentrification and reclaim this historically black and working class area.
Talgium is a Yorta Yorta / Mutti Mutti / Boonwurrung / Palawa / Taungurung artist who practices painting, emu egg carving and wood burning. Talgium is a storyteller, activist, and has exhibited nationally and internationally as an artist. Tahnee is a graphic designer who launched her label Gammin Threads is 2018. Inspired by a love of typography, language and blak pride, the label consists of deadly chillwear for mob who believe in living colourfully, paying respect and empowering women.
Funding Acknowledgements Melbourne Fringe and Koorie Heritage Trust.
In the name of love : 사랑이란 이름으로Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son7UP12.09–04.10
In ‘In the name of love : 사랑이란 이름으로’, Son explores the understanding of ‘love’ when an individual fails to perform their national identity given at birth. Using resin, bath scrub towels, video and cellophane, Son creates a shrine-like space, where one’s memories and experience have accumulated since childhood. In this space, Son explores the act of scratching and scrubbing as a form of meditation to rethink and construct one’s identity, as well as a removal of trauma and displacement of familial love. Through this repetitive labour, Son investigates the uniformity that families, the nurturing platforms, may enforce onto individuals, and the transitional line that lies between nurture and abuse. Through the lens of cultural hybridity, Son invites viewers to explore the unsettled senses of belonging in the name of (their) love.
Proudly supported by Yarra City Council.
Who Speaks The Truth?Manon MikolaitisGallery 112.09–04.10
who speaks your truth? is an examination of the photographic medium and its long-standing affiliation with memory. Photographs are dealt with as pictorial testimonies to the existence of recorded facts, used as containers of memory to stave off forgetfulness. But what good are these photographs in staving off forgetfulness once severed from their referent? Whose truth do they speak to once undergoing a change in ownership? A shift in ownership unknowingly gives rise to the autonomy of the image as an object that does not care for the desires of its user. The photographs role as a mimetic object is therefore finite, no longer intended to serve as a reminder of the past, but instead becoming a suggestion, leaving all speculative work to the viewer. The purposeful pairing of photographs in who speaks your truth? merges disparate narratives from which emerges a new dialogue, offering an alternative approach to the reading of images that have been severed from their origins.
Love WorksJess TaylorGallery 211.09–04.10
Love Works is a series of work exploring the human emotion par excellence, love – as labour, as obligation, as consuming fire, as heavy weight. Recent life events – the loss of a close friend, the birth of a new child, the near implosion of a family unit – have thrown my complicated relationship to love into focus. These works are my attempt to catalogue the ways in which I love, and reconcile them with the pure love archetypes presented throughout my upbringing and by society at large.
Using my own image, manipulated, dissected, and hybridised, Love Works draws heavily upon mythological monsters and narratives, cloaking my experiences of love in a shared symbolic language. It is through this shared language that personal experiences become our collective stories, that we are offered the catharsis of seeing language that personal experiences become our collective stories, that we are offered the catharsis of seeing our hearts reflected in monsters, and that unspoken emotions can form part of our societal dialogue.
Anathema: Kicking a dead horseCurated by Emanuel Rodriguez-Chaves7UP15.08–06.09
ARTISTS: Yundi Wang, Madeleine Peters, Aaron Christopher Rees, Peter Narzisi & Sanja Pahoki
Anathema: Kicking A Dead Horse is a group show about images that bypass linear and explicit narratives or linear constructions of history. They propose associations or alternative ways to read the world and their relationship with it and the rest of us. These works could be called dislocations or propositions for a dialogue. What type of exchange is this? It is unclear, but this very question is what lures us to their work.
Through the dynamics of art, these images are resurrected and come back stronger. Lighting new roads and creating new associations. History devours itself and regurgitates its own demons. I claim that images today are far more critical than we think. Being surrounded by them daily creates the illusion of their harmlessness. We see them as almost innocuous mirages. But images play a double-bind: on the one hand, they are just pictures on surfaces. Not to be taken literately. On the other hand, images can motivate movements, actions; their use can instigate even global political events. This group of works attempts to question the double bind quality of images.
Soft MonumentLinda SokGallery 214.08–06.09
Soft Monument (2019) is an exhibition that looks to subvert the way the Khmer Rouge Regime has been memorialised in Cambodia. Stupas, large scale monuments erected to memorialise the Khmer Rouge Regime hold the bones of its victims in carelessly stacked mounds. This exhibition contests these sites and instead focuses on the proper memorialisation of the Khmer Rouge’s victims to promote healing amongst survivors and their descendants.
The exhibition engages with the materiality of Joss paper, a paper traditionally burnt and used in a Chinese-Cambodian ritual to remember past ancestors. The work softly and subtly hints towards the ongoing trauma caused by the genocide through the use of Joss paper and highlights the absence of the proper treatment of the bodies of Khmer Rouge victims. The space opposes the confrontational sites in Cambodia, which remain tokenistic gestures predominantly catering towards tourists rather than the Cambodian people they are intended for.
After The SandstormCurated by Kelly Yoon7UP18.07–09.08
ARTIST: Alexandra Ragg, Holly Block, Kari Lee McInnneny-McRae, Lucy McMillan, Yi Pei Loh & Kelly Yoon.
“Once the sandstorm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That is what this sandstorm is all about.” – Haruki Murakami.
After the Sand Storm celebrates the metamorphosis of the self as a stronger being through survival and overcoming hardship. Inspired by the metaphoric usage of a sand storm in Haruki Murakami’s novel “Kafka on the Shore”, this exhibition will showcase the personal narratives of six local and international artists, exploring the transformative power of intellectual, spiritual, and physical personal growth. Unique self-reflections and understandings of the fluidity of human and environmental relationships with one’s identity are presented in a variety of artistic forms, including performance, sculpture, photography, and video.
It’s TrickyRachel YezbickGallery 118.07–09.08
Yezbick’s work examines the impact of decentralized global conflict on contemporary morals and social relationships by applying and radically altering the rules of her former discipline, cultural anthropology. She frequently uses the dyad, the smallest social unit, to explore how capitalism, money and the social bears on the formation of intimate relationships. How is the intimacy between two people of differing backgrounds informed by and reflective of impinging social structures? How does shared and divergent aspiration and desire comment upon underlying social values? With this unit, Yezbick comments upon the performances of everyday life, the legerdemain of social roles (the panhandler, the security guard, the art student, the documentary filmmaker) and the ways in which we consciously and unconsciously use, manipulate and aestheticize these roles in order to be seen and heard.
سايبر تصوف (cyber tasawwuf) is a Virtual Reality (VR) experience that explores an Islamic Sufi meditation that uses the Lataif E’sitta (the six subtleties). These are marked in the chest where they draw in spiritual ‘energy’ and correspond simultaneously to psychological and celestial space.
The meditation, or dhikr (worship), resembles Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) single night ascent into the heavens (Mi’raj). The semi-autobiographical piece crosses aesthetics of the modern technological - namely ‘cyborgian’ methodologies - with the Islamic cosmological - specifically the folk religious mystic practice known as Sufism. The mystical becomes digital, problematizing our conceptions of each. The oriental other - as a prosthetic in public space - ensouls this cyberspace questioning disenchantment, conceptions of the Muslim body and the nature of digital space. سايبر تصوف (cyber tasawwuf) investigates how Muslim subjectivity might interface with new and emerging technologies to agitate the demystified, white ‘cyborg’ body.
and on the eyes black sleep of nightCurated by Sarah Brasier20.06–12.07
and on the eyes
black sleep of night
Curated by Sarah Brasier
“and on the eyes, black sleep of night” brings together artists who have experienced the death of a parent. Each of the artists explore their shared incidents of loss in a variety of ways. Themes of childhood are common amongst Brahmony McCrossin, Michael Kennedy, Jemi Gale and Sarah Brasier. They utilise imagery that appeals to a childlike sensibility; toing and froing between melancholy and playfulness, their works explore the complexity of life and death. For Beth Caird, her work has a focus on grief processes and life-after-death experiences, self-made myths and the truth buried under fabrications. Katie Foster’s text work and drawings capture the feeling of fear that you might never recover from such grief. In Robyn Doherty’s zine “The wonderful colours reminds me of the memories I had of Dad” she memorialises her father in a sincere and sanguine nature. Rosie O’Brien’s records the still and simple beauty of flowers before they wither and die, reminding us that life is ephemeral. Artworks presented in the exhibition intermingle new work with historic and personal artefacts, across the disciplines of painting, video and installation. Together the artists present a series of thoughtful offerings that pay homage to their departed loved ones.
Empty Avenues (Best of season 1)Liam O' BrienGallery 130.05–14.06
Empty Avenues is an imaginary television sitcom that depicts the trials and tribulations of living in a share house with ‘the void’ – a materialisation of universal nothingness. Empty Avenues is also a reimagining of the artists’ daily life through the narrative and visual conventions of television sitcoms. By doing so, O’Brien is exploring the agency of narrative identity – an area of psychology that describes how an individuals’ understanding of self, the values and goals that they possess, and their place within society is grasped within the context of a self-generated and ever-changing historical narrative. However, Empty Avenuesis also (re-) presented in the style of a YouTube ‘Best of’ compilation. Such compilations remove scenes from the chronological and narrative contexts that are required to understand their meanings. Therefore, while Empty Avenues seeks to generate meaning, the compilation of its scenes affectively denies any – resulting in a manifestation of the Absurd.
So what exactly is Australia's Identity?Jack Charles Almeida curated by Marley Holloway-ClarkeGallery 129.05–14.06
Ready-made Victorian style chair, white paint.
The work centres around underlying issues in contemporary Australia by seeking to address the lack of cultural certainty within the dialogue and historicity of Australia’s eclectic identity. As the work subtly responds to design in a critical manner, it explores the tensions between native timber and its mimicry, the questions surrounding the role and connotations of white paint, the European influence of kitsch, and its position as instigator of the Indigenous rebranding.
We would like to acknowledge the Country of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation this country which we meet, work, learn, live and grow together. I pay respect to our Ancestors and present Elders and emerging leaders.
I acknowledge this Country that holds us together. The earth holding stories, lore and song lines. The skies that carry Waa, the protector, and Bunjil, the creator. The waters both salt and fresh and how they connect and flow. We are all connected to Country and everything it represents. I acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded and that this land holds sacred stories, lore and customs that have been maintained for thousands of generations.
We Were Both Two When It Happened (Part 1)Kalinda Vary and Nunzio Madden7UP02.05–24.05
Two people, Nunzio and Kalinda were each admitted to hospital at the age of two with kidney problems. One of Nunzio’s two kidneys wasn’t functioning, while Kalinda’s two kidneys were in reflux sending things back inside the body, rather than excreting outwards. This show has been developed side-by-side, two kidneys in a body of work to support our individual explorations. The work is concentrated on loss of autonomy, the interface between body-and-machine, involuntary excretions and dispossession-of-body. The hospital experience residing in our bones; the invasion traceable through the urinary tract and muscle-memory.
Power Is In The DetailsSam Harrison curated by Moorina Bonini7UP04.04–26.04
Sam Harrison is an artist of both First (Wiradjuri) and Second (English) Nations decent. He likes to think of himself as pretty bloody Australian. His most recent work “Power is in the Details” is a reply to, and reimagining of, Richard Lewer’s “The History of Australia”. We as a nation so often get bogged down by the broad brush depiction of our history. This depiction sweeps away and insulates us from the pain, suffering (and political difficulties) that lie in the details of our past. However, this act also sweeps away the love, laughter and humanity that is core to the lived experience on this continent.
I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past
گذشته چراغ راه آینده است
Our past is the light that shows us our future path
anti-time is a two-person show bringing together the work of Tyson Campbell and Selina Ershadi. Exploring the complicated and at times contradictory feelings that are stirred up when utilising one’s own personal and collective histories and fissures for art production, anti-time resists clearly deduced narratives and resolutions and instead resides in a place of ambivalence and unease.
Bite MeZarnie MorcombeGallery 114.03–29.03
Zarnie Morcombe aka Plastic Loaves exhibits herself in her first solo show, entitled ‘Bite me’. Presenting paintings, clothes, photographs, sculpture and text. Created from a serious place of boundless emotional play, Bite me zooms in on our personal and social journey with teeth and how teeth alone can be a symbol to the many stages of life. Displaying a to-and-fro method for expression, Zarnie’s practise is led by an intuitive might to bite.
Part A: It's SpeachyHer Africa Is Real (H.A.I.R.)Gallery 214.03–29.03
Part A: it’s speachy. is about dialogue and conversation that interrogate voice, critique and response. In this exhibition, Her Africa Is Real (H.A.I.R) appropriate Reverend Alpheus Zulu’s 1972 Cape Town University Lecture, titled ‘The Dilemma of the Black South African’, as a foundation to assert their herstories.
A mash up of fragmented text, loops, commentary and performance, the exhibition invites the viewer into a cacophony of conversation.
Her Africa Is Real (H.A.I.R) employs contemporary methodologies of performance, literature, soundscape and installation to reimagine the “traditional” archive, and present our narratives and histories within the context of so called ‘Australia’.
Her Africa Is Real (H.A.I.R) is an interdisciplinary collective. As southern African diaspora identities in an antipodean context, we come together to discuss and create works that challenge erasure and assert black representation, histories and narratives.
The collective includes Roberta Rich, Naomi Velaphi and Sista Zai Zanda.
Unleash The DragonZoe Wong & Kevin DialloGallery 207.03–01.03
Unleash the Dragon is a collaborative project by artists Kevin Diallo and Zoe Wong. It aims to explore the influence of Kung Fu in the Hip-Hop community and the ways in which this cross cultural phenomenon becomes an avenue for identity making as well as cultural appropriation. The artists seek to question cultural stereotypes and signifiers along with colonial modes of thinking through this collaboration.
A Bridge Could Be A CucumberAlex Dabi ZheviNight Screen07.02–01.03
Our maternal grandparents were political refugees, emigrating from Bulgaria to Australia in the 1950s. Teenagers when they arrived, they had rarely ventured out of the valley or their village (selo) prior to their escape. In Australia, they experienced some cultural continuity through a large community of Balkan migrants living in diaspora. Preparing Bulgarian food became a bridge where tradition negotiates geographical distance and migration.
These signage-based texts are of the ‘peasant’ foods served on our tables countless times since our grandparents’ arrival. They are the staple dishes of family celebrations or after school snacks—unglamorous and non-exotic to a white audience. While these recipes are practical, they offer a deeply emotive experience. Food plays a symbolic role in our lives as lists, recipes and ingredients represent the practicalities of nourishment and survival. They express tradition and culture as what we eat becomes intangible and emotional, forming part of an economy of identity.
Fabulina is an exhibition bringing together new work by Jimmy Nuttall. A segment of a new film work, Fabulina will be presented which incorporates a cast of artists, actors, dancers and choreographers in a moving image assemblage on addiction, communication (and a lack thereof), pastoralism and doubt. Performances from Brian Fuata, Mick Klepner Roe, Kate Meakin and Luigi Vescio with a score by Jono Nash and Bonnie Cummings
Lonely GodAida AzinGallery 107.02–01.03
Do you remember the time
When we fell in love
Do you remember the time
When we first met girl
Do you remember the time
When we fell in love
Do you remember the time
Lonely God is an exhibition that affectionately revels in memories of the artists recent trip to her mother’s birth country, the Philippines. Lonely God shuffles mischievously through cherished mementos to make peace with fragmented identity.
This body of work represents a divergence from the weighted feelings that have characterised Azin’s ongoing practice. By subverting the heaviness that characterises the politics of race, she investigates the potential for recovery from guilt, shame and isolation, and expands into the lightness of multiplicity.
Ô•diz•mAvni Dauti & Rebecca Vaughan7UP10.01–01.02
Ô•diz•m narrates a history of audism, a term that describes hearing discrimination against Deaf people and their culture.
The film imagines a futuristic museum display of various Deaf-related artefacts and devices that have sought to erase modes of Deafness and speechlessness throughout history to present day. This assemblage of objects, bureaucratic and biographical details, are used to sketch a brief narrative of “audism,” reflecting the way in which they have become charged with cultural meaning, and offering indications of a larger cultural situation.
The coconut doesn’t fall far from the tree, but is sometimes carried away by a currentSlippageGallery 110.01–01.02
A man, tired of his frail father breaking rice bows, hollows out a coconut shell for him to eat out of. When he sees his own son playing with a coconut, he ask the child what he is doing, ‘I’m making you a bowl for you’ the child replies. The man gives his father a rice bowl.
The above Vietnamese parable goes to the core of the cultural values with which we (Phuong Ngo & Hwafern Quach) have been raised. It illustrates the importance placed on family and Confucian concepts of filial piety, introduced to Vietnam during 1000 years of Chinese occupation. This work examines the concept of ‘Asian Values’ in a Western context, exploring what this parable means to those who live within the hyphen, and what these male centric stories mean to a second-generation Asian-Australian woman.
Towards ElectromaterialityAndrew RobertsNight Screen10.01–01.02
Towards Electromateriality (2018) is the first chapter of a manifesto introducing us the wold of the new flesh; a reconfiguration of reality mediated by the existence of high speed electronics, assassin algorithms and the atomic materiality of all digital media. Recurring to the visual languages of cosmic horror, warfare video games and dystopian science fiction it draws both conceptual and aesthetic parallels between occultism and black box devices; alchemy and electromechanical engineering; the supernatural and the physical invisibility of virtual realms.
Written, directed and animated by Andrew Roberts
Music by Invitado Sorpresa
Energy Sphere Model by Sirhaian
Galaxy’s Black Hole with Brain Model by Nico Torres
Cthulhu Model by Allen Lee Grippin
Kaiju Models by Dope Pope
Archeological Models by The British Museum
Robot Model by Jacques Achille
Motion graphics by Andrew Roberts
Demonic Morgan Freeman and Ghost of Marilyn Monroe Models by Andrew Roberts
Narrated by an algorithmically generated clone of the artist’s voice.
긴장 (that’s why I get so tired now)Dana Davenport curated by Nanette Orly7UP22.11–14.12
The title of this exhibition is derivative of a real-life conversation Davenport has had with her mother. It references a tension, the inability to relax and the pressure placed upon her family to defy social constructs that surround Blackness in a country that adheres to and reveres white ideals. This tension – this 긴장 (ginjang) – is explored through various mediums in Davenport’s artistic practice. She has created her own unique framework of self, one that resists categorisation and is explored using her own body, hair as a proxy for her body, text and language. In sharing her experiences, Davenport attempts to debunk national and racial constructs that seek to exotify and disjoin Black and Asian comradery and states that we are more akin than we have been led to live and believe. 긴장 (that’s why I get so tired now) is Davenport’s first solo exhibition in Australia, curated by Nanette Orly.
Don’t Hug Me Hug ThisPatrick ZaiaGallery 222.11–14.12
Like the monstrous assemblage of rotting limbs and dead flesh famously animated by Mary Shelley’s mad doctor Victor Frankenstein, Don’t Hug Me Hug This manifests a similarly post-human hybrid. But unlike Frankenstein’s fetid composition of decaying cadavers and hewn off appendages, the body of Don’t Hug Me Hug This is comprised of pop cultural objects that are blatantly and excessively artificial. Elements of schlock horror, practical special effects, kawaii and pop music have been unflinchingly hacked off and stitched together into one corpulent display of grotesquely unfettered synthetics. Stare long enough into its giddy post-human (w)hole and you might just catch it obscenely cry out to you with the urgency of a new born: “don’t hug me, hug this!”
Flex ZoneMajed FayadGallery 122.11–14.12
Flex Zone explores the ideals of Ancient Greek classicism within present day ‘gym junkie’ culture by contrasting the body forms of classic sculptures with the obsessive shapes of bodybuilding.
This is a critique on the Golden Ratio Man and the bodily ideals that permeate pop culture, sport, media advertisements, films, and lifestyles in the 21st century. Indeed, Flex Zone seeks to question the ways in which we perceive ‘divine beauty’ through the lens of contemporary culture and via capitalist means.
The project displays a body of work that highlights classical forms of ancient Greek sculptures with ‘true and natural’ heroes, such as Hercules & Athena. It addresses the concept of ‘true’ physical beauty while observing irregular structures of obsessive present day gym culture and its champions like Mr. Olympian, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The work unpacks this connection with a series of gym objects and museum artefacts installed in the gallery space.
Is This Our Great Nation?Edwina GreenNight Screen22.11–14.12
‘Is this our great nation?’ appropriates televised scenes of blatant racism that have shaped Australia’s identity and remain prevalent in today’s society. This work questions the anglo-saxon idea of a post-racial society and the notion that racism is no longer an issue in contemporary Australia. The content of this video shows otherwise, as it evidences the colonial mentality of our country and how it operates in mass media to affect its population. This video accounts for the anger and frustration that many subjects feel when they sit outside the anglo-saxon identity that dominates Australia. ‘Is this our great nation?’ aims to provide a context to the misunderstandings that affect the artist in her everyday life as she deals with the contemporary effects of colonialism.
Sulfur KissSean MilesGallery 225.10–09.11
This exhibition is informed by recent personal journeys throughout Aotearoa. Over a two month period, I ventured across volcanic terrains, connected with whānau, and reflected on Maori histories and stories. This body of work has a celebratory focus on whakapapa and how it has enlightened me to experience a broader and deeper sense of connectedness. In this work, I use Maui-tikitiki-a-taranga as a catalyst to link familiar queer attitudes and methods like drag, with those of ancient trickster archetypes that are present in Maori myth and legend. For me, this activates a healing process that allows my body and spirit to experience a sense of liberation from colonial and heteronormative binary prisons.
Give Me The Little BookMelissa Deerson & Celeste Potter7UP25.10–09.11
Performance/exhibition in response to The Revelation of St John: 10 by Albrecht Durer (1498), in which St John eats the book of the apocalypse from the hands of an angel.
Burn Out (2018) examines digital (and in turn mental) clutter, hoarding and consumption, and its relationship to memory. Chapter one begins as an intention to document every flower in her grandmother’s garden, before morphing into a barrage of pixels. In chapter two, a personal inventory of everyday objects spills out from the belly of a fish, before being buried beneath what appears to be a tropical paradise (really it’s an island built on mundane personal trash). Chapter three articulates the violent frustration of digital hoarding. The work speaks to the emotional toll of digital overconsumption, creating a feedback loop between online space and everyday life.
Double ConvexJesse DyerGallery 225.10–09.11
The term for a photographic lens comes from the latin lens culinaris meaning lentil. Its usage equates the form of a double convex lens to that of a lentil. A lens which focuses light, projects, and magnifies is considered truthful, despite the inevitable distortions it causes. Lenses, in the form of microscopes, telescopes and high speed cameras, enable the observations on which scientific theory is built. That which is objective is actually edible, biological, vegetable.
Dried lentils are hung on strings in formations which resemble the optical structure of lenses. Others are sprouting under large magnifying lenses. The tiny lenses of a phone selfie camera are suspended alongside the dried lentils.
Double Convex investigates what the lentil plant knows of photographic representation, of lens based culture and of CCTV surveillance systems. It explores how this knowledge can be used to understand our image saturated social media cultures and re-evaluate lens based representation.
EpisodesOlivia KohGallery 227.09–19.10
Delirious and sun stroked
the germologist dreams,
the glands of his skin sweating weakened
his dreams are infected by the deteriorating and refracting
language of the regiment.
As the germologist’s fever intensifies,
he is plagued by the images, colours and sounds
of his former and future material body.
This work was developed during a residency at Green Papaya Art Projects and Los Otros Film Lab in Manila, The Philippines (2017) supported by NAVA.
ItchyCurated by Lorilee Yang7UP27.09–19.10
ARTISTS: Sophie Cassar, Brighid Fitzgerald, Annabelle Kingston, Alice McIntosh, Rowan Oliver, Bobuq Sayed, Panda Wong, and Lorilee Yang
Itchy is an exhibition that posits allergies, intolerances and rashes as social aggravation and anarchic bodily resistance. The physical manifestations of sensitivities and emotional retaliation that arise within the artist’s ‘deviant’ bodies mirror the internal irritations and discomfort that arise as a response to the patriarchal, white supremacist, capitalist, heteronormative systems that they exist within.
Our roles as either allergic or allergen shift depending on our environments. What are the preventative measures and barriers that can be put into place so that you do not experience such elements and extremes of aggravation? How can discomfort lend itself to broader understanding, awareness and empathy?
This exhibition is proudly supported by the City of Yarra, through the Small Project Grants Program.
UTOPIAN TONGUESCurated by Jake Treacy7UP29.08–22.09
ARTISTS: Alicia King, Ara Dolatian, Callan, Farnaz Dadfar, Kate Robertson, Jake Treacy, Manisha Anjali, Marko Radosavljevic, Siying Zhou, Talia Smith, Tane Andrews & Yuria Okamura
Utopian Tonguesis a project that brings together an inclusive group of contemporary creatives through altruistic visions of tomorrow. Through practices of art, poetry, music, dance and architecture a set of utopian acts are performed within and beyond the gallery space.
Utopian Tongues transforms SEVENTH into a space for critical thinking and progressive discourse during the exhibition, questioning how we might ensure a better and more engaged future. Identity, culture, sexuality and spirituality inform these conversation of tomorrow through the agency of today, realising art as a conduit for potent change, transformation and healing. By amplifying and providing platform for these disparate yet powerful voices, the exhibition speaks of unity in diversity, interconnectivity and community; it invokes a space for reflection, yet also of action.
Jake Treacy is a curator, writer and poet whose practice employs esoteric acts through exhibition-making, performativity, and the spoken and written word. His recent thesis examines ways of constructing liminal experiences in order to incur healing, promoting inclusivity and community, and exercising the therapy of art.
An Imperfect StudioArcher Davies7UP12.07–27.07
An Imperfect Studio expands upon my interest in how we make meaning through creation and aesthetic experience.
In this show I have looked at my new studio in Northcote, with its cheap IKEA furniture, built-in cupboard, blue plastic tarpaulin carpet protector and its single window with a view to a neglected hedge. I have used subjects from my studio, combined with images from a few art history books that I have kept after my recent move.
From these banal resources I was able to extract a kind of personal story. Painting, then, can be a way of synthesising experience – to be a kind of extension of the body. (This is in notable contrast with the smartphone which can be a way of outsourcing experience – a kind of prosthetic extension of the eye).
QWE3NZGabi BriggsGallery 212.07–27.07
Indigenous women have involuntarily occupied archival imagery conducive to the colonial fantasy – imagery that transmits colonial notions and ideas of the noble savage, the exotic and of a white Australia.
I have explored archival imagery with the intent of decentering the colonial male gaze and to bring into question the ambiguous absence/presence of Indigenous women within the dominant Australian narrative.
Through the use of performance and my own body, video and projection, I have authored a counter-fiction to the colonial fantasy. It is navigated by my own narrative as an Indigenous woman with the intent of decentering the male colonial gaze, regaining ownership and autonomy of my positioning within the national imaginary produced by archival imagery.
SelfieHeadAlison KennedyNight Screen12.07–27.07
Selfies taken in studios transform through the technology designed for quite a different purpose – for measuring distances. I started this work by wanting to represent myself as artist in situ – my studio. I used a mode of photographic representation that I have become obsessed with that defies formal categories – conflating sculpture, photography and 2D representational forms. Dancing between intent and the uncontrolled, the work glitches and codes errors, excavating unexpected truths. My selfie studio unexpectedly became an apocalyptic space due to the alchemy of algorithm. Blackholes, parts of reality tear and peel, my body destroyed. A world pieced together of surfaces, ultimately hollow.
strange world desireFelix AtkinsonGallery 112.07–27.07
strange world desire is a body of new work by Felix Atkinson which embodies facets of intimacy, physiological states and relationships within the context of Self and the ways in which we relate to others. Taking an ontological approach to figurative painting, this body of work aims to be free from dominant construction of narratives, rather, focusing on the ambiguity and fluidity of time, place and feeling. Nothing is being told⎯the paintings act as mirrors reflecting the narratives brought by the viewer.
It is the visual manifestation of these relationships that move beyond concrete depictions of race, gender, expression and intimate interactions between people. The indiscernible drives and desires of and between subjects lends to the interrogation of what is recognisable and residual. strange world desire explores the pathos of human experience and the surreal nature of the unconscious, moving toward a deeper understanding of Self.
72 HoursCaitlin Cummane21.06–06.07
Last October my Dad and I drove from Melbourne to Perth and back in 2 weeks. We drove more than 4 hours on a single dirt road, under the speed limit to avoid hundreds of kangaroos, and before the sun had risen under a sky seemingly only imaginable, and truly unforgettable, so connected and alive.
The experience was emotional, sharing time with somebody who knows me so well, yet we remain independent; recognising the expanse and extraordinary features of the landscape, the way they’ve been affected by colonist Australia, or continue to be protected and maintained by Indigenous Australians. It opened up my mind to histories, narratives and ways of living that I hadn’t witnessed before, and will continue to question and engage with. Images and feelings from the trip surface at unexpected moments, another world entered at 130km per hour, breathing, sighing, roaring, singing.
Lay On ComfortTeresa HsiehGallery 121.06–06.07
A hum. A shimmer. A mass.
You approach slow.
Lay On Comfort embodies an out of reach vulnerability and unfamiliarity in comfort. A conversation exploring the relationship between one’s own comfort and its morality.
Unveiling an unworldly, concealed environment, upon those who witness is bound between form and air. Its growth appears strong and careful. The eye drawn to all elements which become reproducible, circulated, and unlimited to its own being. A body of modular cells keep its grounded form insulated. Above is waiting.
Where have you been? You look like shit!Patrick Hamilton7UP21.06–06.07
Where have you been? You look like shit! is an exhibition of new works by Patrick Hamilton. The project reexamines visual conventions of image-making in a world that is increasingly interpreted via digital representations and reproductions.
A single stock image depicting a snowy Himalayan peak is scrunched into a ball, re-photographed from hundreds of angles, then subsequently re-flattened and framed, treated again as the pristine image. The image-data is processed with photogrammetry software and expanded into a detailed computer model, out of which a varied series of forms are created: A metal casting of a 3D print; a blow-up of the 3D object’s texture maps; a rendered video sequence of the captured geometry.
Rather than commemorating the photographers intended use for the image — an adventure-travel brochure or website banner, for instance — the photo is distorted, duplicated and reshaped to operate in an unrecognisable context. Presenting disorientating imagery, existing between it’s physical and virtual states, adds to the already overwhelming rush of images circulating our vision.
Family Grimoires: The Diaspora FantasticCurated by Diego Ramirez31.05–15.06
ARTISTS: Jiwon Choi, Alexandra Nemaric, Deanna Hitti, Phuong Ngo and Lucreccia Quintanilla
Family Grimoires: The Diaspora Fantastic focuses on artists that mediate their experiences of diaspora through invocations of family and culture. The exhibition includes work from culturally diverse artists that reference family history while evoking a sense of politicised imagination. These artists are New York based Jiwon Choi and Melbourne based Alexandra Nemaric, Deanna Hitti, Phuong Ngo and Lucreccia Quintanilla.
In Family Grimoires: The Diaspora Fantastic, we see how these artists address the notion of dislocation by summoning kinsfolk. They do this by incorporating familial narratives, found photographs, board games and memories in artworks that hold a dreamy quality. This show gathers these studio tactics like spells in a grimoire (book of magic) to cast a deeper understanding of diaspora. By grouping these artists together, Ramirez seeks to create a space where the potential of cultural heritage can be explored through conflicted, unconventional and fantastical forms.
Jiwon Choi is an American based South Korean artist exploring the political tension in her home country with her video Parallel, 2017. In this pop reverie, the artist contrasts the story of her grandfather – who served in the Koran War – with the raise of K-pop. Thus, commenting on how the media and the military recruit young men to serve their country.
Alexandra Nemaric is an Australian artist with Slovenian heritage. During a residency in Slovenia, she sculpted a two-headed duck titled The Visitor, 2017. This phantasmagorical work is inspired by a grammatical ‘dual’ form found in the language of her Slovenian grandparents, which allows the speaker to refer to two entities as one single being. With her sculpture, Nemaric expresses a necessity to reconcile her dual cultural identity outside the confines of her home in Australia.
Deanna Hitti is an Australian artist with Lebanese heritage. Her nostalgic artist book Towla, 2017, contains instructions to the Middle Eastern game backgammon co-written with her late father. In these pages, one finds that the Arabic letters spell the instructions in English and the Latin letters spell the instructions in Arabic. Like the game’s instructions, Hitti embodies a split identity that is continually translating itself.
Phuong Ngo is an Australian artist with Vietnamese heritage. His confronting work The Hunt,2017 displays images of Vietnamese corpses shot by American soldiers during the Vietnam war. The blankets dislocate these gruesome images into the domestic sphere and point to the ways in which diasporic communities host and inherit trauma.
Lucreccia Quintanilla is a Salvadorean artist currently residing in Australia. Her dreamy work If you close your eyes you will see what is really there, 2017, is a seashell of clay inspired by memories of her mother and Mayan Cosmology. Like the hiss in a seashell, reminiscences of home appear to cross the Pacific Ocean to reach Quintanilla.
Composing CollageAlichia van Rhijn & Madeleine Thornton-SmithGallery 110.05–24.05
Alichia van Rhijn and Madeleine Thornton-Smith are interested in experimenting with materiality, collage and the tension between the image and the object. Originating from the French coller, ‘to glue’, collage enables series of artistic languages, places and times to be read simultaneously. Collage can deconstruct traditional hierarchies of the medium – allowing a literal and figurative multiplicity of viewpoints to be considered. Greenbergian purism is deconstructed when a variety of mediums are brought together as assemblages. Working within multiple artistic traditions, van Rhijn and Thornton-Smith have created a series of works that encourage materials to be read in new ways through remediation, composition and collaboration – for instance, clay is treated like paper, folded and cut.
‘Sprawling in Space’ text by Kieran Stevenson
Malignant CapitalBen Byrne10.05–24.05
Mobiles, social media and cloud based services have become an ingrained part of day to day life for many. This has led to a situation where we routinely create vast amounts of data. This data is a kind of capital – cultural, social and, eventually, financial – monetised for profit by companies who claim access to it as payment for our use of their ‘free’ services. It is capital that ends up out of our control, even when freely given, malignant in the way it spreads and multiplies. Ben Byrne’s Malignant Capital renders that process viscerally material.
Residual LinesAzza Zein7UP10.05–24.05
Residual Lines documents the linear traces of invisible domestic labour in precarious materials like a dryer’s lint, and juxtaposes it to lines in wood, and the gestural marks in painting. The dryer’s lint, a useless excess, reflects the work of human caring, the artifice of the machine, and its environmental impact. By combining remains of painting palette and the dryer’s lint, the work creates parallels between the invisible domestic labour and the artistic process in relation to materials and the passage of time.
UnknowingZoë BastinGallery 210.05–24.05
Unknowing is part of an ongoing performance project, exploring how choreography that uses sculptural materials creates a sense of estrangement from one’s own body. Choreography is informed by a confrontation with material, an abstracted fleshy mass the same weight as the performers own body. The exhibition of sculptures, choreographic processes and artefacts will draw from the unfamiliarity of an estranged body, creating a sense of humility and inadequacy in the process of unknowing what a body is.
Bastin works in-between sculpture and dance creating choreography, objects, videos, photos and performances. Exploring the materiality of bodies and objects, her practice re-imagines her body and its connection to spatial, material and social contexts. Sculpture approximates the body through material while dance re-creates experiences using the body itself.
Exhibition text by Laura Couttie
CheckmateYiorgo YiannopoulosGallery 219.04–04.05
Checkmate subverts the use of an at-home infidelity test kit, of the same name, to mark sites of queer sexual resistance in Sydney and visualise the act of cruising. The kit tests for the presence of semen, a purple stain appearing when testing positive. Predominantly in search of sex and usually anonymous, cruising can and does occur almost anywhere. Specific sites in the modern metropolis do lend themselves to such an action more than others, with toilets a pragmatic palace for many and parks acting as cornerstones for al fresco frissons.
The series sees fluids flung and truths emerge. As an infidelity test kit is repurposed and eroticised, our desires are laid bare.
Event / AffectSteven RhallNight Screen19.04–04.05
Employing ‘exhibition as form’ as a contextual framework, this work seeks to extend notions of reflexive practice as anchored by the ‘encounter event’ whilst in parallel, ideas of ‘affect intentionality’ found in First Nations art practice.
This didactic text forms part, flows into, extends outward and sits alongside the installation in question. The artist fee received as part of this exhibition is being redirected to the Melbourne Aboriginal Youth, Sport & Recreation Co-operative.
Father DaughterBina Butcher, Carly Lynch, Emma Jolley, Michelle Wells, Rachel Salmon-Lomas, Taylor Denning, Valleri Foster & Wendy GoldenGallery 119.04–04.05
Perth-based artists Bina Butcher, Carly Lynch, Emma Jolley, Michelle Wells, Rachel Salmon-Lomas, Taylor Denning, Valleri Foster and Wendy Golden work across a range of mediums to reflect upon fathers from a daughter’s perspective. A common sense of distance and movement is explored by revisiting past events, childhood memories and stories told. The artists consider the roles relocation, shifting occupations, value-systems and family structures play in forming their personal connections with their fathers. This exhibition offers viewers a space to reflect upon their own familial relationships and the commonalities and complexities located within individual and collective lived experience.
Some things we have (re) learnt.No Clients7UP19.04–04.05
No Clients (re)presents new work for no new reason at Seventh Gallery. Concerned primarily with the intersection between communication and the designed object, No Clients aims to investigate the constant flux and reflexivity of practice and learning and how this can manifest(o) in different contexts, primarily the real world and the gallery.
No bar tab. No worries. No Clients.
Wish you were here!Paul Eves19.04–04.05
Paul Eves uses the temporal quality of time based mediums, such as analogue tapes, vinyl records, cathode-ray-tube TV’s, moving images and recorded sound to explore a felt relationship to the passing of time and mortality. The video and sound recorded performative acts that Eves employs aims to represent a personal experience of time in relation to temporality, absence and loss.
History is a variable narrativeLouise Tate7UP29.03–13.04
Imagining hybridised pictures of history, History is a variable narrative is the result of a six-week artist residency in Kyneton, VIC undertaken late last year. Juxtaposing imagery of historic colonial architecture, ancient Greek monuments and the rugged landscape of the Macedon region, the work examines the ways in which we physically define our past. The Georgian pillars of the Castlemaine Market Building become homage to the worn and aging columns of the Acropolis; Athenian vase paintings are a backdrop for century-old scenes of a “Modern Australia.” These paintings embrace the ontology of paint in order to tell an alternate tale of Australian history.
iv. with a common theme of disappearance afoot:IchikawaEdwardGallery 129.03–13.04
iv. with a common theme of disappearance afoot: IchikawaEdward asks viewers of their new sculptural and performative works, to appear and disappear with each. Central to the development of this exhibit are non-hegemonic notions of intimacy, the rights of the body and the pressures of ‘love’. IchikawaEdward is a collaborative artist duo involving Joshua Edward and Ichikawa Lee.
MISSION SURGEParallel ParkNight Screen29.03–13.04
MISSION SURGE is a 12-minute long durational performance work developed at West Space within the ‘Performance in Progress’ residency. The work consists of two performers, Parallel Park, navigating a 4-meter long double sit-on-top kayak around the gallery. The work shifts from wide shots to close ups showing the tension and endurance of working in tandem.
Affectionately nicknamed ‘the Divorce Boat’ the kayak functions as a symbol for collaboration, as it unveils the power dynamics between a working duo. In order to surge forward, the duo has to perform an equal effort of the same motions, surrendering individual ego to operate as one. While this work looks closely at the mechanics of collaboration, it also aims to ask questions about Romantic cliché’s and how to navigate queer politics within the context of the contemporary white cube.
Personal narrative, realist photography and the pixelated mark of the digital collide in Florencia Alvarado’s Strange Devices, a blend of imagery from New York and Caracas. Continuing her engagement with the intimacy and minutiae of daily life, Alvarado finds tension and dissonance in expression through migrating mediums. In a ludic exchange between the analog and digital conversions; the scanner, devices, cameras, and printing process; these works enact a material translation of the liquidity and instability of interpersonal relationships mediated through screens.
Third LakeDuha Ali & Justine Youssef29.03–13.04
In Third Lake, Ali and Youssef feature documentation of their collaborative performance as a means to examine postcolonial rhetoric, feminist lenses, and diasporic and material exchanges. Interpretations of cartography and the colonial ‘carving up’ of land are explored in the work through a series of rituals which allow for the artists’ individual experiences to be negotiated within a larger context of their community’s collective knowledge. As they document their journey, demonstrating varying cultural orientations, they provide conceptual maps for the recovery of identity by drawing attention to each artist’s respective origins and their experiences in the Arab and Muslim diaspora.
This project is supported by a grant from the NSW Government through Create NSW, and administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).
The work of a primitive Indigenous AustralianMoorina BoniniGallery 221.03–06.07
Colonisers have documented a history of Australia, through early anthropological settler writings and drawings which have constructed the perceived understandings of Aboriginal people. Drawing from research conducted on the colonial narrative within Australian history, I have become particularly interested in the role of the coloniser and the construction of ‘the other’. Embodying the role of an anthropologist, I will reverse the gaze, examining the behaviours and understandings of non-Aboriginal people regarding Aboriginal spirituality, art and tradition.
Moorina Bonini is a Yorta Yorta woman and descendant from the Dhulunyagen Clan, located at Ulupna situated near Tocumwal in the Barmah Forest. Her other heritage is Italian, from Latisana, the Province of Udine in the northern part of Italy.
The Kun-ji:-yil Ba:-bun (Moon Corroboree) ceremony stemmed from traditional Quandamooka practices which were adapted to take place within the mission system. This would include the construction of a moon to rise during the ceremony. A number of traditional dances and songs were performed during the event. This ceremony only took place at specific moments during the lunar cycle.
Garr-ba Kun-ji:-yil Ba:-bun is a reimagining of the moon prop that was used in the ceremony, now made out of many shards of glass, drawn together to create the important circular motif of the moon. This work stems from ongoing research into Quandamooka practices, from looking through museum and university archives and working with community members.
He Loves Me (Not)Justin DaviesNight Screen08.03–23.03
The strange seasickness of self doubt doused with dread and the defeatist attitude that lingers later. The self indulgence and the selfish indulgence of the self, separately. He Loves Me (Not) is a open opportunity for the viewer to indulge in familiar, yet foreign, self pity. A chance to empathetically experience love, lust and all the insecurities they bring.
Me and all my bodiesLachlan HerdGallery 208.03–23.03
Me and all my bodies considers the shared-body-site of the self. The artist approaches their body as a planetary ecology with associated atmospheric (microbial cloud), surface (skin) and subterranean environments. Samples are taken from each of these environments and cultivated in a series of sealed satellites wherein the invisible biodiversity of a shared-body-ecology becomes apparent.
The realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymoreEva Quinn-Walters & Georgie Gifford7UP08.03–23.03
The realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore is a collaborative project between Georgie Gifford and Eva Quinn-Walters. Through documentation of action-based events, sites and moments, they create installations using footage as material thereby keeping it alive within a new space. The work intends to highlight the plural and unfixed elements of our environment and world around us. This is formed through chance, possibility and process by experiencing daily life as research and blurring the lines between what is performance and what is reality.
To Know Your Fingers and ToesAlyra Bartasek, Jessie Imam, Rosina PrestiaGallery 108.03–23.03
Bringing together three artists from varying disciplines, To Know Your Fingers and Toes uses sculpture, installation, jewellery, video and audio to explore the essential role of the body in the engagement with the spaces it inhabits. Bartasek, Imam and Prestia all use their own bodies, and often the bodies of the viewers, to create and activate their work in a way that extends the possibilities and reach of the body. In this way the body is a tool, a material, a mould, a site, a point of reference, and an (un)framing device.
Engaging various modes of representation, namely photography and drawing, Hverfa seeks to document Iceland’s Solheimajökull glacier – a site on the brink of complete disappearance. Monumental, yet deeply seductive forms are represented in a manner that blurs the boundaries between naturalism and abstraction, seeking to detail the singularity, transience and fragility of the natural world.
If We Only Had Another RoomNatasha MannersGallery 215.02–02.03
If We Only Had Another Room is a reflection upon a specific place in Melbourne; St. Georges Road, Toorak which the artist drives through on their return home from work to a small rented studio apartment. Manners’ works often make reference to the phenomenon of developing place, enquiring into the complexities and nuances that arise when doing so.
This video is a meditation upon the inconceivable wealth present on this particular road, with one house said to be ‘worth’ $70 million. It also more broadly looks at the way people inhabit space and how it is used or not used.
Lost AmericaMatthew PortchGallery 115.02–02.03
Lost America examines a quiet stillness in a forgotten landscape that is, in a sense: ‘on-pause’. Backwater towns and rural corners are juxtaposed against the ambiguity of isolated suburbia. Spaces appear frozen in time, their inhabitants absent or long since departed.Some places have become a worn-out reminder of what America always wanted to be. Other parts have thrived, displaying antithetical wealth and comfort. And for those, secluded in their untouchable hamlets; everything is just as it should be. Ardently stagnant in their appearance, these images aim to unlock a moment of reflective contemplation and instil a melancholic feeling of familiarity.
Lunchtime ConcertMiles Garland Davis15.02–02.03
Miles Garland Davis is a Melbourne based artist working in the field of digital image making to address issues of representation and authorship. Davis’ work explores the increasing fluidity and instability in meaning created by the Internet and its counterparts. Often combining images derived from popular culture, stripped of their context and devised intuitively, they act as a framework through which he explores a new banality in the digital age.
Soft PowerJohn HewittNight Screen15.02–02.03
Soft Power is a six-channel video, each depicting the same abstract space. Feet dance across the videos, appearing to move from one screen to the next and back again. Soft power as a concept, is a persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence. Sport, especially football, has rapidly acquired global cultural, commercial, and also political prominence. China recently and belatedly has sought to acquire international recognition in sport and participate in global development by linking soft power, national status, and football.
CHINTZMaximilian & Tatjana PlittGallery 124.01–09.02
In a series of large-scale photographs, dancers Geoffrey Watson, Milo Love and James Andrews are caught in ambiguous domestic entanglements.
Parallel with Australia’s burgeoning queer diversity, CHINTZ offers subjects equivocal in gender and motive: neither serious, nor subjects of ridicule. CHINTZ uses textiles, dance, portraiture and performance to describe a state of non-conformity simultaneously kitsch, unnerving and pretty.
I sleep and unsleepAnatol PittNight Screen24.01–09.02
The camera in I sleep and unsleep (2017) looks out through a textured window as it slowly moves back-and-forth across the glass. The surface of this window, with its refractions, displaces any cohesive perspective of the other side:
“I sleep and unsleep. On the other side of me, beyond where I lie down, the silence of the house touches infinity. I hear time falling, drop by drop, and no falling drop is heard falling.” (Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, 1982)
Love Far From HomeRenee Estée7UP24.01–09.02
“…I’d think of kissing the thought of her and she’d think of being kissed by the thought of me.” Italo Calvino, Love Far From Home (1946)
Evoking transitional journeys, Love Far From Home embodies facets of memory, both illusions and allusions of love, and longing. Estée locates the ways in which we rove in and out of known and fictionalised spaces, in and out of memory, and in and out of love. Highlighting the mesmeric push-pull between the real and the imagined, the subjective and the objective, Estée illustrates the evocative landscape of relationships – and the diverse details of lives equally intertwined and disparate.
Murky TerritoriesCarly LynchGallery 224.01–09.02
Lot 413 spans the hillside of Smiths Beach, in south-west WA, near Carly Lynch’s coastal hometown of Dunsborough. In considering the corruption which plagues the site and contributes to it’s uncertain future, Lynch presents a series of urgent marks, reactionary gestures and opposing forces in tension with one another within the gallery space. The motifs of the statice flower and fallen fence lines observed on-site recur in the works, indicating power, invasion and the hopeful potential of their removal. It is through these diverse forms, that Lynch grapples with both the archive of documents about the site, as well as her own feelings of anxiety towards it.
Yes: A Reflection On DesireSophie Morrow24.01–09.02
This piece links Morrow’s studies of hidden and performed selves with her interest in sex and erotic desire. Yes: A Reflection On Desire presents a recording of a voice repeating the word ‘yes’ over and over again. The relentless ‘yes’ seeks to know desire while considering the complexities of consent. The implied eroticism and eerie vulnerability mirrors the fragility of one’s relationship with the sensual self; the disembodied, drone-like character reveals the relentlessness of the underlying ambivalence in the relationship between self-perception and desire.
Chrome SparksDionysos Avramides07.12–22.12
Using the tools and trade of a first-year tiling apprentice, Chrome Sparks reinterprets our existing understandings of everyday objects, their functions and our relationships with them. Generic design, homewares, and bathroom objects are dematerialised into the conceptual framework of the White cubicle. Tiling techniques and methods are used as a vehicle for painting technology extending beyond their mundane appearance into a series of Grout based painting.
In Homestay, Kanan Dave documents the quotidian rituals of her grandfather’s life since his retirement. As his life slows and empties, Dave captures the mundanity of his routines set around the rise and fall of the sun. Immersing herself in his sensory experience, Dave considers her own feelings surrounding existence and the elasticity of time, and a new appreciation of the present tense.
Through a series of black-and-white prints and video, Homestay explores the ephemerality of existence, as days of innocence turn to days of relinquishment.
Kanan Dave is a photo artist from Mumbai.
NETHERWORLDSCurated by Amy-Clare McCarthy & Kieran Swann of McCarthy-Swann ProjectsGallery 107.12–22.12
NETHERWORLDS are grappling at the corners of the everyday, carving sanctums thick with power, love, and potential. Through object and performance, this exhibition claims space somewhere between contemporary art and the spiritual, for processes of reclamation and reimagination.
Informed by contemporary relationships between ideas of magic, mysticism, cultural ritual, and art making, NETHERWORLDS reflects on theories of early performance as invocational ritual, and art as sympathetic magic. Drawing on ideas of communitas and the perceived and actual power of the exoticised ‘other’, NETHERWORLDS presents overlapping and intersecting spaces to imagine queer spiritualities, a mythology of awe-inspiring women, and prompts and rituals of self-creation and world building.
ViewFrankie ChowNight Screen07.12–22.12
View implements fear as a way to examine methods that can heighten and manipulate the experience of time and place. The work documents several attempts to walk into a boulder while blindfolded, influenced by the instructed actions and exercises seen in endurance performance art of the 1960s-1970s. Drawing on concepts of voyeurism and the unreliable narrator commonly explored in genres of thriller and horror, expectation and truth, and fantasy and reality are simultaneously blurred and distinguished as determined by participant and viewer.
XanaduSue BeyerGallery 207.12–22.12
A place where nobody dared to go…
Drawing on the movie Xanadu (1980), this work investigates the idea of Sehnsucht, a German word which means, ‘the soul’s longing for something impossible or unknown’, escapism and liminal space, or, the threshold where transformation takes place.
Applying a multidisciplinary approach, Beyer’s visual art practice primarily examines place and space. The use of performance, social media apps, microprocessors and programming language, borrows ideas from the instruction based art of the conceptual artists of the 1960s and is part of an ongoing investigation seen through the lens of personal mythologies, popular culture and humanist geography.
Bung EyeLiam DennyGallery 216.11–01.12
“Mark Twain once described the coyote as the personification of failure, ‘a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him and even the flea would desert him for a velocipede.’ Taking inspiration from Twain, Chuck Jones the creator of the Roadrunner cartoons stages Wile E. as the ultimate looser, a pathetic failure, more humiliated than harmed by his own ineptitude. The elaborate Acme contraptions and schemes to catch the roadrunner inevitably backfire. Yet each time his determination renews as if prompted by Beckett’s famous advice “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better” – An excerpt by Elizabeth Presa (22 October 2017).
Seeing/Scrying/Self-Portrait considers contemporary self-representation in visual art alongside spiritual and devotional practices and rituals. The work explores inherited belief systems and how we frame personal truths when looking through the lens of our own established narratives. Presented is an image of the artist as a child, performing an iconic Catholic ritual, abstracted and magnified underneath the spherical lens of a large quartz crystal ball placed at its centre. This visioning tool distorts and amplifies the image, enacting a parallel symbolic relationship between sight and self-understanding. The work also entwines complicating associations between magic, witchcraft and women and the female image of organized and traditional religious rites of passage.
TransitGuy GrabowskyGallery 116.11–01.12
Transit comprises a series of analogue photographs presented as diptychs. Hand printed in colour and black-and-white, these murals explore duration of time and movement within photography through the work’s materiality, subject and presentation. Black-and-white photographs are made using expired paper, giving them a grey exterior and depleting them of all white; a contemplation of duration. Each diptych has been captured in a state of flux, seconds apart in order to create a subtle change, both in the shift of gesture and spatial displacement. As the viewer passes between the photographs, they too are in transit.
We Make MemoriesCurated by Clare Longley7UP16.11–01.12
Alice McIntosh, Clare Longley, Honey Long, Julia Trybala, Madeleine Russo, Mashara Wachjudy, Nicholas Smith and Prue Stent.
Book yourself a trip to 7UP. Eloping with a lover, finding the time to relax and unwind with friends, or just looking to catch a breath of fresh air? Whatever the occasion, we promise to entice your senses with our unique packages and world-class experiences designed to cool you down as it heats up this summer. We Make Memories.
Emerging from the growing momentum of spring and the anticipation of summer, We Make Memories engages with the flirtatious energy in the air at this time of year, and humorously toys with the commercialization of seasons and self-care.
Woman DrivingTom Alber & Petra LeslieNight Screen16.11–01.12
Cars are private spaces in public, a crucial intersection of personal space. In this work, an unidentified woman drives an early 90s model Subaru Forester across Melbourne at night. For the most part, the act of driving is silent, passive, private and inactive. It is the authors’ intention for the work to mirror these familiar feelings inherent in an everyday activity, drawing its viewers in and challenging them to inject new meaning and dimension into a seemingly banal and quotidian act.
The filmmakers would like to thank Sherwin Akbarzadeh (DoP), Derry Sheehan (Producer) and Erica Dunn (Lead) for all their help on this project.
AND BEYOND?Harry Zed Hughes & Nick James Archer7UP26.10–10.11
A reading according to the Mystic:
It was within the studio walls that the mystic found the alchemist.
And it was so they went on the quest to Bunnings Warehouse
For the lowest prices were just the beginning.
They bared witness to great materials.
A white tubular rod that appeared in the isles.
They approached the tubular white rod and marvelled for it was pvc.
Such great material required the golden.
It was then the chromatic spray paint appeared,
And so the beginning of the constructed ethereal would evolve…
Thanks be to Bunnings
And so the mystic and the alchemist found themselves thrown. Encrusted facets crept towards them. Beams of paralysation, of gravity. Suctions and forces. Forms and thoughts. Alchemystical hermeneutic circles. The ladder, the accent, the threshold, the divination, the transformation. Beyond the space the cross, the dissection and the suffering of the power pole. The void. I didn’t want to be here anyway. What is this substance? When I close my eyes, I see the forms, they dance my desires.
Commodify MeCurated by David AttwoodGallery 126.10–10.11
Isabella Darcy, Michael Georgetti, James Parkinson and Jo Richardson
The exhibition Commodify Me brings together works from a group of artists that in various ways make direct use of off-the-shelf, store bought or free-to-take items in their practices. The exhibition draws on Joshua Simon’s notion of the Unreadymade, a term he uses to described a recent trend of contemporary artistic gestures that emphasise the commodity as the foundation of the art object. After all, “only some commodities are art objects but all art objects are commodities.” As an extension of ideas around the readymade and its continued presence within the practices of local contemporary artists, Commodify Me presents an attitude of purchasing, finding and sourcing rather than producing, making and crafting.
Coralate/Anthogaea is a tactile investigation into the value systems surrounding traditional feminine qualities in parallel with attributes of coral reef ecosystems. The totemic, meditative works address a tension between the familiarities of the stereotyped female form and its often alienated and othered presence. Cliché use of pastel pink, biomorphic texture, pattern and form become emblematic of the overlap in value systems surrounding traditional notions of femininity, craft practices and endangered ecosystems.
Live by Faith Not by FeelingsZoë BrooksGallery 226.10–10.11
Live by Faith Not by Feelings is a knitted conversation between Zoë Brooks and the Catholic Church Craft Group. Interested in belief systems and the extremities of human behaviour, Brooks explores the narrative of ‘The Immaculate Conception’ triggered by her and her sister’s own conception, who prior to, were promised to the Catholic Church however conceived through IVF processes against Catholic beliefs.
Arms Folded, Hands Crossed (I speak to the room)Camila GalazGallery 105.10–20.10
Happy to put you in touch with any comedians. Let us know if you have any specific people in mind. Maybe a mix of people who prepare a lot and people who are more free form and don’t write down too much? Can try for some bigger names, too.
Pretty sure we can pick you up from LAX on the 30th. Can you send your flight details so we can track it? Will be coming from a lunch meeting but not too far away, should be able to get to you by 2:30 or so if needed. See you soon!
If the moon moves water, the sun moves shadowsFiona Williams7UP05.10–20.10
If the moon moves water, the sun moves shadows is a configuration of new work exploring the concept of passive vitalism through the differing material demands of painting and moving image.
The exhibition involves a single shot video and a series of paintings; both works are installed together as a single work. The video utilises both single shot and duration, and the series of paintings work with the interrupting frame and play of natural light in real time.
This work was developed while a Master of Fine Art candidate at Monash University, with the support of the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.
skyscraper, school, shrine, slaughterhouseJoe Gentry & Jen MathewsGallery 205.10–20.10
Architecture is both the substance and medium of authority. As Benjamin H. Bratton states, ‘there is no house without the one who claims it and there is no law, and no power in fact, without the house which it oversees.’
Symbols of desire and violence are suspended within everyday architecture, fixing abstract and discrete definitions of corporeal space into immediate surfaces, volumes, and pathways.
To romanticise decay is to delegitimize power and its physical architecture: the composition of signifiers, signs, boundaries, transit zones, everyday commodities, glass windows and iron bars that together form a general economy of retention, resentment, loss, and displacement.
The Repositioning of an Object that Once FunctionedSean McDowell05.10–20.10
Sean McDowell’s exhibition The Repositioning of Objects that Once Functioned can be seen as an exploration of materiality, drawing on actions of fitting things together. Although the forms employed in the artwork reference other functional structures and everyday objects, the artwork is located in a place between representation and abstraction. The display structure that supports the sculpture is elevated at human scale, thus allowing for a close inspection that asks the viewer to scrutinise the proficiency of its finish. While playing with the expectation of materials, the artwork also deals with formal qualities of arrangement, colour, surface and form.
Black Garden (Agdam City Number One)Robert McDougall7UP14.09–29.09
Black Garden (Agdam City Number One) is a multi-channel video installation focusing on the memory and legacy of the Nagorno-Karabakh War, a relatively-unknown but brutal conflict which occurred between 1989 and 1995 in the historically cosmopolitan Karabakh region bordering Armenia and Azerbaijan. Filmed as an accompanying piece to McDougall’s ‘The Sokhumi Elegies’ during a year-long stay and informal residency program at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Tbilisi, Georgia, and made in collaboration with the Georgian artist Ketevani and poets Shalva Bakuradze and Nina Targan-Mouravi, the work takes as its central motif the extraordinary destruction during the war of the Azerbaijani city of Agdam, which today lies in total and astonishing ruin. Incorporating durational cinematography and environmental recordings of the ruined landscape, and complimented with archival footage, vernacular photography and text-based research, historic folk songs and poetry recitation in the local languages of Armenian, Azerbaijani, Russian and Georgian are featured to give context to the strange and terrible fate of the city. Bakuradze’s parallel memory of the conflict in his native Abkhazia and Targan-Mouravi’s Armenian family heritage in Karabakh are drawn upon towards the creation of an uncertain elegy, reflecting on nationalism, poly-cultural history, exile, trauma and transcendence.
Tess E. McKenzie’s practice navigates elements of choreography or gesture, theatre design and the tenuous relationship between repetition and anxiety. Central to her work is an engagement with the ‘Beckettian loop’, a theatrical device she employs to evoke not only a notion of the absurd, but also to explore and dissect a linear understanding of the timescale and duration involved in viewing filmic and performance-based works. Fogging is part of an ongoing series of works which transpire as pseudo-erotic, intimate moments with botanical bodies. The narrative of Fogging enacts the soft penetration of a finger in between two trees – a silent theatrical set for the pink dancing light hovering between them. A titillating Tinker Bell.
Tess E. McKenzie is an artist based in both London and Melbourne, having recently graduated with an MFA in Sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2016.
Fogging is generously supported by the Sidney Nolan Trust, Herefordshire, UK.
For Sale: baby shoes, never wornJustine WalkerGallery 224.08–08.09
New Zealand artist Justine Walker follows an interest in feminine subjectivity and identity. Drawing heavily on her own experience of the world with a particular interest in the expectations and limitations that society puts on all of us based on our gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity and so on. Using photography, video, sculpture, drawing and craft to investigate how women are responding to these expectations and what society is creating in reality.
Walker wanted to be a mother, but after years of fertility treatments has found herself childless. ‘For Sale: baby shoes, never worn’ consists of video and photographic works responding to this journey. Some refer to the endless, repeated attempts to conceive, hoping with all fingers and toes crossed, for a different result. Others the disenfranchised grief, the shame of giving your life over to this at all costs. And the search for what to do now, fantasizing about missed bedtime stories and birthday parties. Together these works give you a glimpse into the absence and loss of something that never existed.
Sundari Carmody’s Steady Illiterate Movement presents a series of sculptures that have developed through a three-way conversation between theoretical cosmology, sculpture, and botany. The objects in this project orbit around the Papaver Somniferum, ‘sleep bringing poppy’, and the figure of Vera Rubin, an astronomer who spent many nights cataloguing the position and movement of stars around the Andromeda galaxy. Rubin is credited with discovering evidence for the existence of dark matter. The works are an attempt to give form to things that are invisible or which lie just beyond the limits of our perception. Steady Illiterate Movement explores altered states of consciousness, sleep and astronomy, the threshold between the seen and unseen – the known, unknown and unknowable.
Time bankBess Davey24.08–08.09
Time bank was born out of a residency program undertaken by the artist earlier this year in Murcia, an agricultural region in the southeast of Spain. The work is based on research into alternative economic practices that have sprung up in the area over the past decade. The artist set up a simple ‘banco de tiempo’ (time bank), an initiative in which people exchange labour time without currency. She gave English tuition to people in exchange for their participation in the project. The work poses questions about how we categorise activities deemed worthy of exchange and/or monetary compensation. It looks at material acts of making through the lens of labour as a social and relational process.
Remembering-howTori FergusonGallery 202.08–18.08
Through a practice that encompasses video, drawing and sculpture, Tori Ferguson contemplates tensions between the permanent and the impermanent, monument and ephemera – examining the human urge to classify, to document, and to remember.
In Remembering-how (2016), treading water – neither sinking nor swimming – is its own state of being. Suspended between activity and passivity, it is marked by a tension between the floating body and the effort required to keep it afloat. Influenced by the idea of habit memory, it brings into focus those actions that are remembered and expressed by the body reflexively.
What are the conditions and effects of urban acts of mark-making? How do these disparate acts work to define the spatial relationship between the individual, the gallery, the institution and the city? Tristan Kerr’s Stray is an enquiry into the meaning of the city, as he explores the spatial and textural qualities of the urban landscape.
From the slow decay and evolution of surfaces, to the plethora of gestural marks, there is a poignant interplay between consumerism and vandalism across the city street’s surfaces—a tangible tension between torn street posters, the cracking enamel of deteriorating commercial signage, the distinctive hand styles of graffiti, and what remains; the aesthetics of buffing and the remnants of its removal.
Envisaging the typographic ephemera of this rapidly developing urban landscape, Kerr reflects on the fact that our cities are by nature evolving and transforming, rather than immobile and unchanging. He seeks a new way for the public to engage with and question the barrage of text-based imagery they encounter daily, elevating everyday gestures and markings into spectacle across the picture plane, and reflecting on the dichotomies present in postmodernity.
Questioning the structural integrity of technological perfection, Kerr’s work is enriched by its inherent humanity, as a celebration of the artist’s hand brings the presence of its creator to the work. The many material, fragmented layers that form within his latest paintings are a metaphor for the multiple, fleeting histories lived out across the city surfaces on which they meditate. He heralds the traditions of sign-writing, graffiti, painting and typography, recreating such street markings in an atypical manner with mediums often reserved for the studio, such as: airbrushes, spray guns, masking techniques and high quality artist paints. In so doing, Kerr aims to shift our perceptions of the typographic elements of the city, giving rise to ‘other’ visions of what the public sphere might look like.
Tristan Kerr (born Melbourne, 1985) is an artist and typographer, interested in the revival of hand sign-painting and the exploration of typography through large scale installations and painting. Kerr has exhibited locally and throughout Europe.
Until Next SummerAmy Perejuan-CaponeNight Screen02.08–18.08
Amy Perejuan-Capone is an artist and designer. Her work explores the power, agency, and interconnectedness of the inorganic elements of human life. Her largest project to date is an ongoing site-specific public intervention entitled One Word For Snow, a fictional ‘snow advocacy/delivery agency’ that deploys snow machines to create short localised blizzards in the Perth CBD. This absurdity explores the dominance of Northern hemisphere centric winter expectations, the growing vagueness of seasons, and the misalignment of human desires with the realities of our environment. This nostalgic fragility is also explored in Until Next Summer, Amy’s Night Screen exhibition at Seventh Gallery Melbourne.
‘I’m not sure we should say hello to each other at openings anymore’si ma vaNight Screen22.06–07.07
‘I’m not sure we should say hello to each other at openings anymore’ presents two outcomes bound together – a video inspired by Hans Namuth’s film Pollock Painting (1951), and subtitled text motivated by an incident at an opening where a conversation both drew boundaries and crossed them. The work considers the stakes and effect of the social, especially when upheld ideals of modernity are incongruous with the reality at hand.
si ma va’s multi-disciplinary practice is largely borne from social bonds. They are interested in the extent that the performative and ‘showtime’ function as conditions of legitimacy, as well as the catalysts and consequences of both formal and informal exchanges that employ a deferral of risk. Their work often takes form as improvised gestures, collaboratively produced art objects, provisional documentation, anecdotal texts and correspondence. It frequently absolves the objective of discrete works for slighter gestures and events that lend to intertextual readings. Their work embraces the impulsive, incidental and antithetical. Common themes include tensions between the personal/interpersonal, quality/inequality and subjectivity/veracity. si ma va is based in Melbourne. In 2015 they completed Honours in Fine Art at RMIT University. They have exhibited locally, nationally and overseas. They have not been the recipient of any accolades, grants or residencies.
Pear DiamondEdward Ounapuu7UP22.06–07.07
Ounapuu’s method of painting follows a process of covering up and revealing, building texture through collage mirroring the haphazard process of developing conclusions in aspects of everyday life. His application of paint is both tight and erratic, sweeping in and out of control in a intuitive manner. Ideas within these paintings are reassessed and reworked until a montage emerges that represents a spirit of spontaneity and uncertainty.
Years of experimentally testing my limits, both conceptually and in terms of access to new technologies, has resulted in a range of what might at first appear to be quite different bodies of work. Collectively though, there are abiding themes – about control of our bodies, experiences of bodily detachment and enhancement, and the alluring promise that medicine can offer a condensed chemical pill to enhance the way we feel and behave, against our instincts and ‘true’ nature. It is hoped that the mind and the body can be aligned. To explore those themes comprehensively requires attention to aspects of life that might be easily overlooked – the sophisticated and sexy design of pill packets, videos of compulsive and repetitive bodily movements, hand-picked photographic stills of videos, the creation of aphorisms which mimic the banal sayings that are intended to guide our thoughts and behaviour in pro-social directions, and seeking out the remaining taboos in our society about body image using deliberately provocative titles drawn from common vernacular to press home the point. I am attracted to the latest technologies and materials (such as customised moulded acrylics) which might have been created for industrial purposes. I enjoy harnessing their capacities to investigate my purely aesthetic aims.
Shadyspace is a constructed environment that responds to the visceral and liminal features of a built space. These are haptic and optic features, emotional and intellectual feels, and notions of human connectedness. Wells constructs abstract, two and three-dimensional paintings that principally utilise colour, form, depth, and interstitial space. Shadyspace evolves as daylight recedes: folds, textures, tones and finishes alter. We learn to fear the inner shadow, its unknown content and ambiguities and not look to its resources and peripheries. But here lies the potential for the serenity of sleep, dream and the colours of inner life. Imagination and our capabilities of tapping into unconscious thoughts emerge here. At the very least, there may be nothingness, timelessness and allure.
On Saturday 1 July from 2-2.45 pm, you are welcome to attend a discussion led by the artist about her exhibition and practice.
Photographer: Lauren Dunn.
The AlibiStephanie Peters & Troy RainbowGallery 222.06–07.07
‘The Alibi’ is an audio-visual interactive podcast by artists Stephanie Peters & Troy Rainbow of the Stargazed Art Collective.
Through the use of sensor technology, webcams, found objects, sound art and video art, this ‘The Alibi’ plunges you deep into the mind of the armchair investigator – an archetype popularised by podcasts such as Serial, Truth & Justice and Bowraville and the ultimate conduit of egalitarian ideals.
Through this exhibition, Stephanie and Troy contend that is human nature to shape narratives to our own benefits in a way that dehumanises victims and turns them into entertainment.
Confirmation bias has led us down paths of echo chambers and solidified us in our subjective realities. In a post-truth context, we no longer trust experts. We only trust what we feel to be correct. So what if the narrative changes depending on your position in relation to the evidence?
Acts of intersecting assemblages imposes connectionsJanelle De Gabriele7UP01.06–16.06
Acts of intersecting assemblages imposes connections is a continuing response of former research, aiming to investigate the language between materiality and form within the space they impose. The act attempts to disregard all previous knowledge of handling the material. This challenge to discount all prior understanding of the essential qualities forms a shift of play into a logical building of structures conceived by time, memory, repetition and the interpretation of patterns that takes place. The passive guidance of working with the subject forms a new understanding of the materials potentials and attempts to initiate fluxes and differences of the material.
Mistakes, accidents and challenges, which occur during the process, form new approaches and understandings of the material that attempt to signify the work in a continuing dialogue.
Audrey and Emmett from Loss in a simulated environmentJacqueline FelsteadNight Screen01.06–16.06
Audrey and Emmett from Loss in a simulated environment
Jacqueline Felstead engages with 3D technology (photogrammetry) to map the empathetic rather than calculate the quantifiable. In practice this involves attempting to replicate near-irreproducible states, such as rendering in a 3D model an hour of someone’s time, or documenting a bird’s-eye view while on the ground. Audrey and Emmett is unusual in that it is a 3D model made from hundreds of photographs taken over an extended period of time, so that in this model features become prominent by being constant. Here the nearness offered by a technology that can see around corners juts up against the closeness over time between two figures.
Jacqueline Felstead is winner of the 2017 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship. She has been awarded an Asialink Residency to Objectif’s, Singapore with the support of the Australia Council and a studio residency to Banff Centre, Canada. She holds an MFA (Monash), B.A. (Hons) in Media Art (RMIT) and Social Science and is completing a PhD at Victorian College of the Arts. Recent solo exhibitions include All Angles Forever (St Heliers, Abbotsford Convent); I am here (West Space); Gatwick Private Hotel (VAC); Everything (Objectifs, Singapore); Small Worlds (Curator, Substation, Singapore); Because I Know You… (Curator, Counihan Gallery) and group shows include Dots and Loops (Evans Contemporary, Toronto).
MOVEABLE MEASURESJondi Keane & Kaya BarryGallery 101.06–16.06
“Movable Measures” is a participatory artwork that will confront gallery-goers with installed objects and situations that unsettle, unbalance, and amplify their movements in the space. A variety of measuring devices, such as laser levels, foldable rulers, video projections, and a hinged floor that tilts and shifts slightly with each step, offer experiences that momentarily disorient how people walk through the gallery. The installation and video projections aim to activate visitors’ senses to become aware of how one uses them to measure, attune, and adapt their movements to respond to the installation. “Movable Measures” requires that we mobilise our attention to ‘measures’ across a variety of scales, locations, and motions.
WORKSHOP: On Saturday 3rd June, from 2-3:30 pm, the artists will run a short workshop and discussion in the gallery, inviting people to test out small and playful movements in response to the artworks. The workshop is all ages and open to everyone. For further information contact the artists directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Space: Outer and PersonalSarah Ujmaia01.06–16.06
Ujmaia’s practice is ultimately a “lexicon of constellations,” utilising found images, ephemera, borrowed words, flora, and graphite drawings as a means of understanding immediate surroundings and distant places. She predominantly employs the process of drawing to help her interrogate spaces that are both familiar and foreign. Her current show addresses intimacy, vastness, and a fading ancestry: exploring the dichotomy and tension that exists interpersonally for an individual that has undergone assimilation. Instagram: @sarahujmaia
Gabrielle Hall-Lomax photographs abstractions of moments in a landscape, exploring perspective and our relationship to the natural environment. Transformed Surfaces is an investigation into how we perceive and relate to our natural environment in the current geological epoch known as the Anthropocene, which is defined by the significant reshaping of the earth’s geology and eco-systems due to human activity. Hall-Lomax seeks to capture a sense of the sublime that transcends the great divide between nature and culture through melding of natural and artificial, to reflect how in reality both aspects are closely intertwined in the human experience.
Hilary Dodd typically works with dense, textural substances, using cement and oxide as her primary materials. She asks one to examine materials in unsuspecting variants and reveals their ability to move us in ways that are difficult to immediately cognise. Dodd attempts to embrace the unguarded subconscious by capturing the unstable core that harbours in all of us. Her unique approach to using industrial mediums illustrates the curious pleasures to be found in discomfort. The abstracted surfaces and unfamiliar textures create canvases in various states of aesthetic decay.
The world is a dynamic space. Things come and go, disappearing and resurfacing. It is perpetually transitioning, interconnected through an expansive web. Yumemi Hiraki’s elemental approach to her practice quietly engages this ephemeral nature through nostalgic reflections of memory and history. Hiraki’s practice explores what it means to reside within cultural gaps. Shifting between being here and there, from home to another home.
Fractured//fluid terrains expresses a sense of transience through the impression of shifting foundations. The works speak of movement, upheaval and rupture. This encompasses a constant interaction with new practices, behaviours and customs, and the experience of being the Other.
fractured//fluid terrains focuses on the process of metallurgy, specifically copper, as the material speaks a richness of ancient traditions. The geometric metal piercings indicate something distinct and inherent about cultural practices that are simultaneously reworked in new contexts. This shift in process reflects conversations around the sensitivities of the migrant experience of transience and how one may transform and make room for different practices simultaneous to echoes of tradition and heritage of origin.
Come What MayMallory Allen & Danielle ReynoldsGallery 211.05–26.05
Come What May brings together the independent works of Mallory Allen and Danielle Reynolds in a terrain where their separate interests meet. This space, which is marked by a shared loss, looks at futility and insignificance in a setting of grief. Amid vistas and mess, dogs and detail, regrets and resilience: with a ‘grin and bear it’ attitude, these combined works concurrently look at experiences of absurdity, melancholy, humour and growth. This exhibition is a new collaboration; a moment where Mallory and Danielle look to each other to see what happens when they enmesh their practices, and work with the feeling of ~ looking around and thinking what the fuck just happened? ~
The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts’ Studio Program supported the development and realisation of Danielle Reynolds’ work included in Come What May.
Intimacy of spaceKari Lee McInneny-McRae & Nell Grant11.05–26.05
Intimacy of space is a project that engages with intimate features of architecture. Both material and form are created in response to inhabited structures. The room acts as a frame for the objects, but also as the mechanism that informs how they sit within it.
Two brothersMichelle MantsioGallery 220.04–05.05
At the centre of video Two brothers, is a soundtrack of a translated conversation between two brothers recorded Thessaloniki, Greece where they discuss their country’s economic, cultural and ideological situation. The conversation is mapped around a white cube as a choreographic score using Gregory Bateson’s theory of symmetrical and complimentary relationships. The score is performed by dancer Victoria Huf. These layers of intertwined conversation (between the brothers, between the dancer and the score, between speakers, performer, artist and broader political context) explore an ‘impossible’ translation.
Connections@SeventhChantelle Key, Goran Gajic, Kosar Majani & Qurban AliGallery 120.04–05.05
Connections@Seventh examines the different approaches to recording and reviewing personal history(s) in multicultural Australia.Connections Arts Space (C.A.S) is a volunteer run and not-for-profit arts organisation, based in Dandenong. C.A.S was established in late 2015 to use art for a better world. The three core missions are: enhance and nurture the arts in communities; increase the ability for everyone to participate in the arts; and establishing the economic viability of the arts. SEVENTH’s collaboration with C.A.S brings artists from the outer south-east suburbs from diverse cultural backgrounds into the hub of Melbourne’s art world.
Chantelle Key creates representational narrative ink drawings on tracing paper that are layered and can be disrupted and rearranged for different readings. Kosar Majani is an experienced multidisciplinary artist who re contextualises her Persian background using pattern to deal with the concept of coverage. A prolific self taught painter from Afghanistan, Qurban Ali works in many styles across watercolour, acrylic and oil. His work aims to expose truths of the world to people via narrative and figurative illustration.Exploring innovative use of materials, Goran Gajic’s work represents the renowned inventor Nikola Tesla in relation to his life’s work.
I graduated last year from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art). I’ve exhibited in group shows in Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond as well as being involved in the arts within the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire, where I’ve grown up.
I work with pen and ink, on tracing paper. I am intrigued by the fragility of the paper as well as the potential for layering, revealing and hiding.
I am interested in recording and documenting, and am motivated by a need to keep and map everything. A particular source of inspiration in this regard was the candid 1793 sketch by Jacques-Louis David of Marie Antoinette, as she was being transported by cart to the guillotine; the uncontrived nature of the sketch is in stark contrast to all the other posed, formal depictions of her.
This piece represents the world famous scientist Nikola Tesla as a pioneer of the modern world that still shines in our age. I see him as an idol, he was an ethnic serb who emigrated to the USA and was a true man of science whose vision could have changed the world. He died penniless and alone- the man who basically invented the “AC DC Current” as we know it today. I chose to make this portrait for the connections to my story and to my current context in Australia through the funny connection to iconic Australian band.
I was born in Iran, and moved to Australia in 2001 where I studied art for five years. In 2010 I completed a Bachelor of Fine Art majoring in painting and graduated from Monash University. 2008 I completed a certificate four in Contemporary Art at Chisholm Institute. 2004 completed Visual Art major in painting at Chisholm Institute.
The main concept in my artwork is patterns. I explore the use of symbols and patterns to convey an alternative language about culture and ethic.
Visible and Invisible Space
For comfort, protection, modesty, privacy or secrecy, humans have covered and clothed themselves in various fashions since the beginning.
This Visible and Invisible Space installation conceptually and structurally was inspired by the history and the traditional costumes and fabrics of a particular region. I aim to bring to light the tradition of veiling and choose Chador, the covering worn outside by women from my own and other cultures. In its indigenous context it is normal, accepted and expected; the women who wear it invisible, protected and respected. Outside this environment however, the chador becomes highly visible, with its normality and acceptance questioned by the mainstream culture.
In using fabric in this installation, my aim was to relate directly to the ideas of femininity, exploring the sensuality of women.
The use of black and white symbolises the colours of birth and death, mourning and wedding, ritual and power, perfection and violence, protection and respect.
Shape and form are important aspects in this art work. Circles symbolise the structure, boundaries, continuity and repetitive nature, and politics; all factors highly important in women’s everyday life.
In Afghanistan you’re not allowed to paint – if the Taliban see, you get in trouble… they’re going to kill. They have another kind of mindset.
In detention centre (Darwin), they organised painting classes. I was looking from window thinking this is not for me. One of the teachers saw I was looking and asked if I wanted to join. “Is this for me?” – “Yes you can join”. I found it was very cool. I had one exhibition and I donated many paintings to the centre there.
Sometimes when you see something, it comes into your imagination. So it depends on your imagination and mood. When I feel good I do abstract. I like to play with colours. They are totally meditation – art is a meditation. If I would’ve been a philosopher I could write something – but I don’t have many words or education. That’s why painting is good for me – to describe something – same as the writers, they imagine and then they write.When I see anything is happening bad with the animals or humans, something like that comes into my imagination. I like animals…because the humans have taken their land and their species. The people used to go hunting and kill the life of the animals to show their bravery. But it is not bravery. I pray for the wild animals, too much. Because of them we can see everything – nature always shows you…
I never learn art from anywhere – I don’t have much studies about the art. Still – I am doing it for my mind – to take images out of my mind from my past life. The paintings totally changed my life even – brings more confidence in me.
Following Amie: the artist at workMaria Miranda & Amie Anderson20.04–05.05
In 1980 Sophie Calle followed a man she did not know around the streets of Venice and made the infamous work Suite Vénitienne. In an update of sorts Following Amie shares the curiosity and desire to understand through “following,” yet shares none of the subterfuge or secrecy of Calle’s project. On the contrary, it is a highly collaborative work conceived between the ‘follower’ and the ‘followed’.
Following Amie tests the idea of embodied knowledge where Miranda literally follows Anderson with an iPhone 6 on a Selfie Stick over the course of several days, as ‘Amie’ goes about her life, working as an artist, ARI director, and two different part-time jobs. In the process of literally “following Amie” new questions opened up about artists and work, different questions from those posed by Sophie Calle in a previous era. Today, the very nature of the artist’s work exists within a precarious ‘gig’ economy, and social and relational modes of work jostle against more traditional forms usually associated with studio practice. Following Amie plays at the precarious edge between work as practice and work as economic survival – following the work the artists do to make the work, and the work the artists do making the work.
This project was funded partially by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council.
The project received funding assistance from The University of Melbourne, VCA.
The Lines in BetweenTriple F Collective7UP20.04–05.05
Who are we?
Triple F are a new collective based in Melbourne of international and local female artists creating works about female subjectivity. All of Triple F’s members originate from different countries. We are interested in inserting a multi-cultural, multi-national perspective into contemporary feminist art and discourse.
What are we talking about?
Cross-cultural perceptions of femininity, feminism and female sexuality.
What does cross-cultural feminist art look like?
This exhibition draws out the lines within and between bodies, countries, and cultures creating a fluid conversation. Each artist charts their experiences and observations within their respective cultures to analyse, criticise and comment on prescribed gender roles across international communities.
Sofi Basseghi (Iran) Paula van Beek (New Zealand) Vanessa Godden (North America) Tassia Joannides (Australia).
Flick & Cut (or Dolls) is a single channel video work that explores gestures associated with hair. Within a vacant white space, the performers enact a series of gestures with their non-existent hair, such as fringe flicks, flirtatiously twirling, or sensual hair tossing. Its duration is 5 minutes long and it is silent.
From an altered and very specific view of the world, Flick & Cut (or Dolls) highlights and critiques wider social and cultural behaviours and norms around sexuality, femininity, personal power and identity. By isolating actions from associated object, the performance amplifies the absurdity of these ritualised behaviours and investigates the cultural significance of both the object (hair) and the gestures that surround it. The work was developed via an extensive workshop process led by the artist, as director and choreographer, working closely with the participants to create this performance of a gendered body to expose the vulnerable, internalised performance bound up in the construction of ones identity.
The genesis for this work came from an ongoing exploration of the artists personal history with Alopecia Universale (the complete loss of hair on ones head and body) at the age of 29.
An experiment in extending the artist’s painting practice into something between the realms of the flat surface and sculpture, Object+ -ness presents initial steps in a move towards the creation of “objects”, using painting as the starting point. Patterns and brushstrokes on a variety of supports are covered with a mix of opaque and semi-transparent fabrics. The underlying images are shrouded and then selectively revealed through slashes and burns in the veiling layers. Rebecca Willcox is a Melbourne based artist, have recently relocated from London, UK. She is currently undertaking postgraduate studies at VCA.
Sticky SurfacesKimberley PaceGallery 130.03–14.04
Sticky Surfaces fragments and reimagines the corporeal body through resin cast objects, ceramics, textile forms and video. The work in this exhibition reveals the body is not contained by boundaries. We are divided at its margins, seduced and disgusted simultaneously by the porous openings, slits, folds and orifices that interrupt the surface of skin. In Sticky Surfaces, the body is reformed, reduced to parts, and fragmented. The limits of skin are dispelled and corporeality manifests as excessive, pulsating, excreting and growing. The works play on our tendencies towards voyeurism and dissect the fetishised lens cast on the body. Exploration of the everyday and intimate spaces of the body examines the tension between the erotic and the repulsive and unveils desires to touch, fondle and squeeze.
The ListCurated by Alyce Neal, Thea Jones, Grace Wood7UP30.03–14.04
Benjamin Baker, Rosie Isaac, Lauren Dunn, Katie West
The List features new and recent work by Benjamin Baker, Lauren Dunn, Rosie Isaac and Katie West, and investigates the constructed systems our bodies operate in—language, images, space and history. In presenting distinctly different practices that include performance, installation, painting and sculpture, The List seeks to embody the diversity of art-making practices and highlight the critical concerns shaping contemporary art. The List sees artists extend beyond the confines of the gallery space, offering a self-critique of the designated gallery and art object, and the capacity of the artist-run platform in the contemporary art ecology. The exhibition will be complemented by a series of public programs, including artist talks and readings.
Benjamin Baker is interested the nuances of contact. It is somewhere to collapse the macro and to nurture the micro. An attempted inward reflection and a quiet space, allocated for ideas colliding through the platform of painting. I acknowledge the seed and present the vessel. Benjamin Baker is a multidisciplinary artist practising and sleeping in Melbourne. They are currently finishing their BFA in painting at The VCA.
Rosie Isaac is a Melbourne-based artist engaged with performance, video and writing. Her recent work draws on and reconfigures the official language of public spaces, allegorical texts and casual conversation in an attempt to negotiate the modes of power at work in these distinct forms. Isaac is a Gertrude Studio Resident. Upcoming projects include solo presentations at Gertrude Glasshouse and West Space in 2017. She is currently developing a project as part of Kickstart Helix for Next Wave Festival.
Lauren Dunn explores underlying codes within photography, advertising and ethnography in her cross disciplinary practice. Dunn often works with large scale photographic images, creating ambiguity and uncanny sense of familiarity as the image source is eroded in its repetition. A recent graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne Dunn has exhibited at LON, Blindside, Margaret Lawrence and CALArts in California. She was shortlisted for the Majilis Travelling scholarship and Incinerator Art award 2016. Dunn will be exhibiting at first solo show at LON gallery in April 2017.
Katie West is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the renewal of human connections with and within the natural environment. To this aim colonial histories are reconfigured and decolonised futures are imagined in response to global environmental concerns. Katie is of Yindjibarndi descent, from Noongar Booja (Perth and surrounding areas) in Western Australia. She is now based in Naarm (Melbourne) and is currently completing a Master of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.
Ella Sowinska’s work is concerned with the private and intimate lives of others, and the obsession and fascination with the documentation of them. She is guided by the theoretical discourses of reality television and documentary practices. Ella addresses the impact that the constructed situation has upon these social relationships, and explores the power dynamics between director or artist and actor, participant or contestant by drawing attention to the often-constructed situation. Working predominantly in video, installation and occasionally, live performance, Ella’s work is critical of the documentation of the intimate lives of others, and of the subsequent voyeurism.
Tropical Islands is set inside of a fake tropical island located in an old airship hangar approximately 60 kilometers south of Berlin. This series explores the island as an artificial set for romance.
回Ellen YG Son09.03–24.03
Ellen YG Son utilises acrylic painting to explore and repeat values surrounding sexuality. Through the continuous fragmentation and layering of her collected images, she probes and articulates a sexuality that challenges her cultural and moral values and forbidden revelation of sexuality itself. Son currently studies at Victorian College of the Arts (BFA Honours) as an international student.
HoldJohanna van der Linden & Gabriel MelloGallery 109.03–24.03
Hold is the first collaboration between Johanna van der Linden and Gabriel Mello. The installation explores the ambiguous process of recording the relationship between gravity and the corporeal. The body is deconstructed and revered through objects, traces and documentary. Mello’s sculpture records the trauma of weight on and against the body. Scattered in the space, these castings alter the navigation of the living body. van der Linden’s prints respond as the inverse of Mello’s work, existing as traces of the absent body. The corporeal is invoked through a reminder of the place it was. This is documented through the ritual of waking, leaving and recording.
Safe SpacePetra NicelGallery 209.03–24.03
The comfort of a grandparent’s home and the scratchy softness of their oldest crocheted blanket is one of the spaces a child might identify as safe in their early years.
In various ways, the safety of this space is underutilised – in these transient moments, children listen to demure tales of talking animals and adventures through forests, but rarely learn about how their bodies and relationships may not replicate those depicted in books.
This project encourages us to enter a space containing elements of familiarity, to reconnect with moments of fundamental learning, and to expose ourselves to narratives collected from those who have identified the erasure of their perspectives in widespread literature.
There Is (18%) Grey Between The LinesNoah Spivak7UP09.03–24.03
Born and raised in Vancouver, Spivak’s works offer no personal autobiography. His current processes isolate, break and reconstitute the materials that compose photographs, producing versions of the photographic that present audiences with the distance that can exist between a physical object and a study of visual re-presentation.
For this exhibition, Spivak has created a photographic installation that reveals no actual image. Rather than presenting pictures to look at, There Is (18%) Grey Between The Lines, uses tropes inherent to photography to break that of a normalised, and accepted, method of representation. The seemingly disparate works – though both remnants of past artistic processes – cultivate as a single, ocular experience left to be studied and interpreted, like that of a photograph.
But ThenCassandra Tytler16.02–03.03
A voice tells disjointed tales of disgrace, culpability and unwanted exposure. Video eyes surround; they observe, control and guide you. But Then uses storytelling to explore the individual self-policing that takes place when we present ourselves to the world: how our stories change according to our own sense of shame and judgment. Through this enactment we both moralise and normalize our actions, but always in relation to the people around us. As Foucault posits in his Panopticon, our self-disciplining is internalised; our quest is to be “normal”. But Then emphasizes these forms of normative power relations through auditory storytelling, performance and image making. Tytler’s performance and video work is an ongoing examination of the mechanics of performance in the embodiment of persona and its spectatorship.
Facsimile is a new collaboration between artists Georgia Mill and Giordano Biondi. The work explores the process of recreating memories – how we mentally reinforce, erase and reconstruct stories from our lives. Through repetition and reinterpretation of images, objects and sounds, we constantly reimagine our life narratives and understanding of ourselves. Mill’s work comprises an audio-visual installation featuring interviews with participants in which they recount memories containing magical or unbelievable elements they are unsure of having ever occurred. Biondi’s work consists of a series of the same image which has undergone several processes of digitalisation by means of a scanner, and prints of its successive scans.
Feel for the waterTace Kelly & Kit WiseNight Screen16.02–03.03
Originally made for the Head Above Water exhibition at Peninsula Arts Gallery in Plymouth (UK), Feel for the water considers the touch of the swimmer using the hands of different people who have swam the English Channel in recent years. ‘Feel for the water’ is a term frequently used by long distance swimmers about the ‘catch’ part of each stroke, where they learn to ‘feel’ the water on the palm of the hand as they pull through the water. It is difficult to achieve – swimmers describe it as a kind of sixth sense – and marks a point where their relationship with the water is enhanced. Ocean swimming is an action that involves a sensory knowledge, countering our usual reliance on the visual to orientate ourselves. The work came out of a larger collaborative project that explores Wise and Kelly’s shared interest in the experience of ocean swimming.
Present AbsentNancy Downes7UP16.02–03.03
This immersive installation is aimed at locating the material quality of grief, and at exploring how material and movement can demonstrate and embody grief as something that is active and processal. This kinetic drawing-in-space functions as a 3D diagram of the circuit of feeling and response at play within affect. Within Present Absent, both nailing and stretching cord to it’s limit pinpoints the perpetual agony experienced in grief, as a ‘limit’ experience, where the materiality and contortion of the cord embodies the ricochet movement from a mnemonic to affect, in dense black.
Seven Situations is a series of performance-based video works that take as a starting point the role of the trickster in mythology, folklore and popular culture. Using the body as an instrument these public interventions, performed around Melbourne’s inner suburbs, range from the subtle to the bizarre. By exploring the potential in any given moment and playing upon the form of the everyday, these actions subvert standard social practices and parody normal behaviour. Chosen for their humour and absurdity as well as their historical and cultural references, they playfully disrupt and interrogate everyday situations.
46th St Longing Eleanor Orchard26.01–26.02
Eleanor explores her experience of travel by processing subjective data and referencing the classical ideals of a love letter. 46th St Longing examines the uncontrollable nature of wanderlust, whether it’s the desire to explore a space, or return to it. Eleanor compels the viewer to experience her longing through a collection of location based notes and an analysis of their resonance.
The Australian Artists’ Grant is a NAVA initiative, made possible through the generous sponsorship of Mrs Janet Holmes à Court and the support of the Visual Arts Board, Australia Council for the Arts.
‘Discover Gippsland!’ will present a body of paintings that explore the commercialisation of Gippsland, Victoria. Inspired by the layout design of tourism magazines, these paintings were created throughout this region on Gunaikurnai lands. As Europeans settled this area, they committed atrocities against the Gunaikurnai people. This history is not always known or acknowledged amongst many Australians today. Tourism magazines present this landscape as undiscovered, demonstrating that the colonial doctrine of Terra Nullius is still in effect today.
OldM8 in the kitchenBill Noonan & Zac St Clair (representing OldM8ARI)Night Screen01.12–23.12
Operating as OldM8ARI, Bill Noonan and Zac St Clair examine everyday objects through sporatic and immediate interactions. These interactions attempt to extract an inner dialogue and exhaust an object of all potential content. They also sell t-shirts @oldm8ari on Instagram.
BLACK MASSNaomi BlacklockGallery 101.12–16.12
Naomi Blacklock works primarily with performance, sound installation and sculptural objects. Her practice addresses the significance of disruptive feminised voices and reimagines ‘othered’ identities by examining the Witch Archetype as an emancipatory symbol for alterity. Utilising strategies of ritualised performance, the artist amplifies her body and her voice through bodily precision and aural screaming. Re-activating the figure of the witch as a political ally, her practice embraces alterity, activism and spiritualism as a way to subvert harmful histories of gender and cultural identity. Blacklock is a current PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology, and recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Award.
The hydrologic cycle is a means of illustrating the changing states of water as it moves throughout the world. It is useful in that it breaks a whole into stages: evaporation, condensation, precipitation – and makes these understandable as individual moments. Home renovation is its own moment within a cycle that operates at a pace beyond our direct experience. Each improvement draws resources from one space to another, where there slow decay immediately begins. This exhibition is an exploration of building as a cycle, and the builder as both creator and debaser.
The Disassembly LineNicholas Walton-Healey7UP01.12–16.12
The Disassembly Line is a documentary photography series about the work – and the people who undertake the work – performed on ‘the killing floor’ of a rural NSW abattoir.
The series is the first exhibition by Nicholas Walton-Healey since the launch of his first book, Land Before Lines.
The Disassembly Line considers the implications of privileging the principles of rationality, compartmentalization, progress, efficiency etc. above all else.
It asks: how do these principles shape the faces and bodies of the people whose daily work is predicated upon them?
The Disassembly Line is a sensory utopia (but viewer discretion is advised).
The State of Being Three Fortis (Small Death III)Eugene ChoiGallery 201.12–16.12
Fortis (Small Death III)
Eugene Choi (b. 1993) is a visual artist whose practice has evolved around the physicality of constructing internal and external structures through performance, video, sculpture and installation. Influenced by the body in movement, Choi’s practice travels between controlled and uncontrolled states by engaging the body in unfamiliar, yet constructed situations, relying on the live response of her physical and emotional body. A self-made system of geometry becomes integral between the body and object, attempting to achieve equilibrium.
Anastasia and Katherine AFKAnastasia Klose & Katherine Botten10.11–25.11
Katherine and Anastasia like each other’s work. They wanted to do an exhibition together where they exhibit whatever they are working on. Generally Katherine and Anastasia only ever meet online, so they are happy to finally exhibit material manifestations of their existence together.
Katherine Botten is an Australian interdisciplinary artist. Her works are primarily voiced in the first person, often blurring the distinction between artist and object of study. Katherine Botten explores the construction and destabilization of identity in Post Capitalist conditions, para-patriarchal expression, the aesthetics of wellness, self-care and mental illness, and the distress of living and consuming. She currently squats instagram.com/katherinebotten1er.
Anastasia Klose is interested in outsider art, and the idea of the passionate amateur. The passionate amateur has no artworld connections and a naïve approach to art. Unconstrained by the fashions of the day, their touchstones are modernist painters such as Gauguin and Picasso. Employing the naïve approach of the amateur, Anastasia started to paint in 2015, just to try a new medium. She made about 6 paintings, a lot of them are spraypainted over and over again. Employing themes of socialist politics and teddy bears, painted with Museum of Bad Art aesthetics, she has posted these paintings numerous times on Instagram and now is happy to show a few of them in an exhibition with Katherine. Anastasia lives an isolated existence in Western Sydney.
In PlaylandElizabeth Presa7UP10.11–25.11
“Everyone knows the bit in Collodi’s novel where Pinocchio, having travelled through the night on the back of a talking donkey, arrives happily in ‘Playland’. In his description of this infantile utopian republic, Collodi has left us the image of a universe where there is nothing but play…. The immediate result of this invasion of life by play is a change and acceleration of time.”
Giorgio Agamben Infancy and History
Hours, days and weeks pass like lightening. Yet making art in close proximity to an infant becomes a way of slowing time, of holding onto “the gestural, mimetic, ludic and other semiotic systems” of play. Plaster casting thus becomes a stilling of playtime.
Elizabeth Presa is the head of the interdisciplinary Centre for Ideas, Faculty of the VCA&MCM, the University of Melbourne. Her sculpture and installation practice focus on philosophy, material and process.
Post Baby Belly (2015)Nina RossNight Screen10.11–25.11
This work is a response to artist Nina Ross’ experiences telling people that she had a newborn baby. As soon as she mentioned it, people would take a (often not so subtle) look at her post baby belly. This happened so frequently it became obvious that they were commenting on her body through their body language.
The low-fi aesthetic is indicative of Nina’s restricted working conditions as a new mum of a 4-month-old baby. Nina gave up her studio before she gave birth and started working from home because she was physically and financially restricted. Once the baby arrived, Nina was limited to work from home because she was caring for her child. Pippa Milne has written a catalogue essay to accompany the work.
Post Baby Belly, 2015, HD video, 24 seconds, looped (no sound).
Nina is a photographer, video and performance artist with a strong
research lead practice whose work primarily explores language be it mother
tongue, foreign or patriarchal. Her videos speak to a wide audience,
relevant to current global issues, while giving a voice to the personal in
this broader experience. In 2013 Nina received a Master of Fine Art
(Research) first class honours from Monash University; her thesis received
the Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Master’s Thesis Excellence Award.
We do not always communicate with words. Sometimes words fail us and it’s more effective to convey our compassion, frustration or support through a glance, a touch, a frown. Other times, our nonverbal capacities betray us. We shrug when we wish we hadn’t, we grimace without intending to pass judgement. Or we look away (down) when we wish we kept our gaze steady. Here is a short loop. Five pairs of eyes. Four women, one man. Two shots of a belly, gently protruding through a hand-cut hole in a sheet of white paper. As not the looker but the looked upon, we read these glances not as slips of the tongue (which Freud would have us think were spoken by the subconscious) but slips of the gaze. It would be easy to rant if this was a case of male gazes slipping and sliding over the post-baby-body of a female. It might draw to mind Elizabeth Grosz’s position by which; “[t]here will always remain a kind of outsidedness or alienness of the experience and lived reality of each sex for the other.” (Grosz 1994, 207). Of course, these are not all masculine gazes—only one of the five appears male. It’s not sexual difference, or alienation from the experience that is being gestured to here, it’s almost the opposite: a sense of personal curiosity at a potentially shared experience. Or that curiosity might actually be fear, or comparison. Martha Meskimmon talks about the capacity of female artists to “make and remake meaning in particular social situations and aesthetic encounters.” (Meskimmon 2003, 3). For a self-portrait, an artist depicts themselves for their viewer. This is, perhaps, an inescapably female rethinking of a self-portrait as it takes the sensation of being looked over to shape the ‘self’ of the artist. Left undefined is the look that returns these shifting gazes.
Curator and writer
The artist would like to thank the following people for assistance with this project and exhibition: Heidi Holmes, SEVENTH Gallery staff and volunteers, Pippa Milne, Aasmund Heimark.
ANAMNESISElise BonatoNight Screen20.10–04.11
ANAMNESIS unveils a cinematic experience that characterises the recollection of esoteric concepts in which the soul may recall from previous existences/realities. Aligned with Platonic thought, retrocognition catalyses through an internal alchemy made external, where a certain level of horror and/or pleasure results by actualising the potential to resurrect this connatural knowledge. The visual phenomena that manifest through the work become a multidimensional and otherworldly presentation of Being; a visceral embodiment of the act of remembrance, which has the potential to permeate a sensorial encounter with the sublime.
Multidisciplinary visual artist, Elise Bonato (Adelaide, AUS), is a practitioner of the visual-aural arcane. Her experimental practice investigates contemporary notions of the sublime and mysticism through a synthesis of moving image, performance, installation, drawing and painting. She has recently exhibited SUPERNAL, Sawtooth ARI; ćreature of the elēgiac, FELTspace; Arcane Beckoning, The Mill Adelaide in Australia and in the USA (Interstitial Theatre, NARS Foundation). This project has been generously supported by the Helpmann Academy.
‘Issues such as rights and belonging determine and shape the condition of our lives’
(Rogoff, I. (2000). Terra infirma. London: Routledge).
IPSEITY explores protection and fragility as symbolic metaphors for cultural place and belonging. This is facilitated through the use of translucent clay objects reminiscent of nature’s intricate formations.
This body of work is based on my cultural identity attached to the land of my origin, Israel. It considers the idea of the protective structure as a living-growing organism suggesting both an object of protection, and one of spiritual arming of the self. It aims to highlight the spiritual and political concerns of identity as well as imbue a sense of cultural belonging by using Hebrew text, fabric texture, and manipulation of ceramic forms. This installation functions on many levels as the poetics of the past are brought into the present to question the future.
Transmitting information out of the natural world and simultaneously employing elements of cultural context, the objects in this installation are transformed into ambiguous entities that do not actually exist in nature. Through closer observation, printed prayer script is revealed. Each particle in the structure becomes a parchment scroll that embodies a strong internal energy like a seed or a cocoon would. Nevertheless through the use of a pray script it carries a wish for protection.
In binding together singular elements imprinted with prays, names and numbers the pieces speak about people, the individuals that connect to a group and highlight the sense of security within belonging. In turn, when implied to organism-like entities, they evoke a hopeful desire for growth and vitality. Reflecting on Israel’s reality of being, these ideas suggest that what is strong and collected could, in actual fact, be fragile and vulnerable. It illustrates the thin balance that exists in nature between solidifying and falling apart, between brittleness and fortitude – the core of creation and existence.
Always seeking new perspectives, Lilach has recently completed a Master of Fine Art (RMIT 2015) to compliment her previous studies. Practicing as a Ceramic Artist, her passion lies within the manipulation of the form and challenging the limitations of the material. Through traditional and contemporary techniques the artist examines the mindfulness embedded within the way of making and displaying. Informed by her cultural background it presents ideas of personal, cultural and historical significance.
Temporalysis is a construct that proposes the transformation of things that are temporal to a state of paralysis. Two divergent expressions of time-related forms coincide where the seemingly inevitable surrender to time’s passage is disrupted. Both materials and entities that have ephemeral motivations have here been arrested in time, or its progression mitigated. Efforts to exert some influence over, record or hint at the performance of time have lead to new, intimate and abnormal relationships with durational conditions.
Turno spellRosina PrestiaGallery 120.10–04.11
Turno spell is an installation, performance and painting project that draws on the narrative of Stregheria (Italian witchcraft). Spell casting in Italian can be translated to ‘turno’ which means ‘to incur change’.
Turno spell is a part of Rosina Prestia’s MFA project series where the concept of change and the human’s capacity to incur change is the focus. Prestia’s approach is to work from a material standpoint to create minute bodily interventions that subtly extend the possibilities of the body.
Prestia invites the audience to change the words of a spell where they can change the colour of their eyes. The participants are invited to recite, mutter, mumble, whisper or think the spell they have changed in her installation.
To participate and receive the eye changing colour spell email email@example.com.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE VISITORSXanthe WaiteGallery 220.10–04.11
WHAT TO DO WITH THE VISITORS is one strand of a research project that considers the colonial and contemporary histories of one of the major Victorian era landscaped public gardens in Australia – the Fitzroy Gardens. The photographs in this exhibition reflect on the gardens histories as captured through online image search engines. Admitting the limitations inherent in state archiving systems, the photographs document sporadic instances of horticulture, recreation, protest, and culture that have occupied the site throughout its permanence.
Xanthe Waite graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Art: Honours (Photography) in 2014. Recent exhibitions include: 2016 – SOAP at Kings ARI, Melbourne, 2016 – Is/Is Not at Westspace, Melbourne, 2016 – Ground(s) at c3 gallery, Melbourne, 2015 – Some of them got the first look at Kings ARI, Melbourne 2015 – SOAP at Fort Delta at Fort Delta, Melbourne.
Between UsAlex DeGarisNight Screen29.09–14.10
Between Us considers the constitution of identity as facilitated by network-based media. With a specific focus on queer identity, the work posits the self as not a fixed and stable entity but as being in a state of constant becoming. The work takes place at the site of digitally mediated human connection and infers the multilayered and heterogeneous nature of subjectivity. The work utilises both the artists’ body as the generative force behind Between Us, using motion capture technology, photography and 3D scanning to create a fluid assemblage of organic and non-organic elements that intends to present the contemporary conditions of technologically mediated subjectivity.
Exploring the phenomenology of dream-thought, and the essence of play as a means of wish-fulfilment and enacting preconscious phantasy. Facilitate an investigative level of inquiry into the utilisation of symbolic agency operating the psyche as a mechanism working between mind and body, bridging the gap between concrete experience and abstract thought.
Cognitive thought processes are relentlessly transpiring, sometimes without mindful recognition. We face a multitude of basic and complex problems, and are always trying to seek fluid comprehension. It is through an internal motivation that these problems can be unveiled and suddenly liberated from the weight of the unknown. Due to the limitations of consciousness, these reveries are frequently forgotten, altered or perceived as somewhat surreal and often unable to be fully expressed due to a lacking in vernacular, which is synonymous in both a verbal and physical senses of communication.
Catalogue Essay by Laura Couttie
Ruptured Equilibrium The artist awakes in the middle of the night with the whisper of a dream on her mind. Still half asleep, she switches on the bedside lamp and hastily scribbles down remnants of the dream. Two figures; a flag waving slowly from side to side; an M.C. Escher-like contraption; a room filled with colourful balloons. The more she tries to grasp onto these scenes, to make sense of them, the dream slips away, like sand through a sieve.
A pulley system exists in temporary equilibrium, the two opposing elements balanced in perfect harmony. On one side is a weight containing frozen water beads, on the other, a golden orb counterweight. This hydrothermic sculpture pays homage to the Rube Goldberg machine, a contraption that relies on the transformation or movement of materials to trigger a reaction. As the ice beads melt, the pulley shifts slowly to the opposing side. Drip. Drip. Drip. When the ice melts to such a point that the opposing weight crashes down to the floor, the contraption has fulfilled its purpose.
Pink slime ooooooozes grotesquely. The colour and texture of this material references Freud’s uncanny, that which is familiar yet unfamiliar all at once. The colour pink, recurring throughout the artist’s works brings to mind the abject body, child-like play and psychedelia. It is not of our conscious, civilised world. Yet it appears here in all its pink, slimy glory to remind us of our own humanity.
Two large flags, banners, wave hypnotically, mechanised, in sync. Moving as though caught in a breeze, but instead controlled by rudimentary mechanised arms. Back and forth they wave. You are getting sleepy. Back and forth. These cryptic message bearers stand guard over the proceedings, watching and waiting for their secrets to be unraveled.
The artist explores tension and balance between opposing states: objecting and subjective; reason and imagination; the transformation of materials from solid to liquid, shifting states from order to chaos, conscious and unconscious; the realm between dream and reality. These sculptural works utilise a variety of materials, including resin, silicon, concrete, salt and wax, that are transformed, poured, moulded and warped in a playful exploration of materiality to illustrate these tensions and thresholds.
Drawing on Jungian dream theory, Maddy Anderson takes inspiration from her dreams, treating them as sources of material to be investigated and unraveled. Constructing kinetic contraptions and playful sculptures in response to these dream sequences, she offers an exploration of the space that exists between conscious and dream states.
The Block Is Hot.Matthew Usinowicz29.09–14.10
Matthew Usinowicz received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. The conceptual inspirations for Matthew’s work are the layers of human experience and spatial existence – the relationship between human and object. His work is at the intersections where working processes conflict with social classism, music, human accumulation and residue – the ever changing landscape around us. Experimentation, processes, and material specificity are at the heart of his work. Matthew has exhibited exclusively in United States, notably in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. His exhibition at Seventh Gallery will mark his first international exhibition. He currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.
Emerging Writers Program
The Block Is Hot
By Madeleine Russo
The placement of unusual or dramatic events within cinema give material analogies to a film’s more internalised conflicts. These events that audiences witness in the spectacle of cinema imply a climax or relief of a given scenario. To accentuate the rising tensions within a Brooklyn neighbourhood, Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ (1989) places his characters in an unforgiving heat wave that aggravates its community’s rising conflicts. As the climate overtakes its environment, characters find a temporary solution by opening one of the street’s fire hydrants, resulting in a scene that unites its distressed residents by dousing themselves in the water pressure that’s been building underneath them. In a moment of relief gained in a minor unlawful act, it then follows that authorities should eventually arrive to lid its tensions once again.
Typically, Western film production finds individuals or groups solving the peak of their conflicts by conducting minor acts of administering their own authority. These usually involve a bizarre act of citizen disobedience: running red lights to get to the hospital; taking over the school’s PA system; bypassing airport security; swapping uniforms with unconscious authorities. The audience’s focus on a film’s protagonist privileges this permission of an individual’s unique behaviour under special circumstances. Audience support of these behaviours question how individuals can negotiate structures of authority in the face of crisis.
These structures that characters often disuse belong to and are sanctioned by an antagonistic or militant authority, making these crisis-control objects, like fire hose-reels or PA systems, dependent on a narrow selection of a larger community. The way that these emergency response objects remain exclusive within these structures suggests that its objects are vulnerable to vandalization at crisis point. Releasing the valves of fire hydrants for the sake of its community amongst pressing conflicts suggests a quasi-vigilante act of reappropriating the exclusive object of government infrastructure into the individual’s rights for seeking and providing basic relief for its community. These actions temporarily shift the hierarchical systems within citizen obedience, giving permission for members of the community to reclaim a sense of authority within dominant authoritarian structures.
Depicting community heroes, like volunteer firefighters, activist demonstrators, or most film protagonists, starts with the appropriation of authoritative props. The identification of these officials: high-visibility fabrics of authorities or protest accessories of their challengers suggest the internal nature of authority that pass through individuals, resulting in this immediate application when navigating conflicts. The act of individuals reclaiming control from a dominating environment doesn’t symbolise a call for anarchy, but rather an exchange of authority through the appropriated use of these objects. These moments call to attention the way that communal pressures evolve and how individuals respond in the face of community pressures. Re-negotiating the significance of community within authoritarian structures is particularly relevant in the US, where individual rights to authoritative objects has been met with extreme backlash.
Proposing the potential relief from rising tensions in our current political environment calls on individuals to appropriate authoritative objects and structures. Inventing potential solutions at crisis point ultimately suggests the moderation and fluidity of authoritative structures through this permitting of exchanges of usage. Negotiations between the individual and their environments express the communal desire for relief within distressed communities, and help question how authority can be appropriated to collaborate on, rather than enforce solutions for communities.
Madeleine Russo is an artist undertaking her Honours in Fine Art at Monash University.
UNBOUNDMax Lawrence White7UP29.09–14.10
Unbound will present a body of paintings that explore the element of colour. These paintings will attempt to highlight combinations between the artificial and the natural, creating juxtapositions within each painting that show colour as something autonomous, independent of form and freed of linguistic expression. The paintings are not attempts to systemize colour but rather present is as an element that can elude description.
Emerging Writers Program
Manifesto for Unbound Colour
by Stephanie Berlangieri
Colour has rarely been seen. Too often it is allied with secondary matters like form and paint that only serve to obscure it. Colour is so intrinsically tied to these subsidiary elements that it is often confused with them. We insist that this conflation be undone. Colour, when it operates for some other purpose outside itself, is modest, unassertive and guileful. It deceivingly concedes to systemic impositions, but when it is allowed to simply subsist on its own, to happen, there is a sublime and arresting effect. We want to arrive at a true awareness of colour. Colour in its discrete value; colour with other colours. We want to unbind colour and allow it to self-govern. We want to facilitate the conditions for colour’s independence:
Nothing escapes colour. The proverb goes that the end makes all equal; death is the great leveller. As death is to life, colour is to form. No form is spared from colour. Colour is enjoined to form like a rapacious parasite. Colour supports its existence from its host, form. Form may attempt to assert its independence but colour will always pronounce its presence. Colour envelops, engulfs and threatens to consume but always maintains a distance. Colour is not form.
All colours are equivalent. Traditional colourists would have you believe in the centrality of the colour wheel and its hierarchical dictatorship of colour. It is a way of imposing colour with human value judgements; an arbitrary system that denies the inherent value of each discrete colour. Why is red, a primary colour, purer than vermillion, a tertiary? Hue, saturation and tone are simply facts and not qualifiers. Hence, we use colour in its “original” state, as it is given as dry pigment or packaged in tin paint tubes. This is a democratic act; an acknowledgment of the parity of colour. We welcome a non-systemic understanding of colour that respects its autonomy and widespread, impartial usage.
Colour is an end in and of itself. The distance between colour and form necessitates that colour be conceived of as independent. Colour need not be allied with form or anything else. Colour is not merely an adjective, used to describe the qualities of something more “substantial”. Yellow isn’t warm, happy, joyous or energetic. Yellow is yellow. We are stripping colour of its time-worn conventional connotations to experience it in its unsullied wholeness.
Colour combinations reveal colour. Colours are placed adjacently to one another by the effects of chance, choice and curiosity. These groupings anticipate the exposure of colour as it is. They are not reliant on an external classificatory structure which encourages or discourages the placement of certain colours against others. The spectator, neither innocent nor receptive, arrives at the painting laden with presuppositions. We embrace disharmony, discomfort and disgust. For colour to be seen in its fullness we must first release colour from its associations. This will not be pleasant. Fondness for a colour is irrelevant when met with its reality.
Colour has ultimate primacy. Paint is subordinate to colour. It simply carries colour and is a facilitator of its application. Though the painterly is not of concern to us, paint nonetheless imparts certain qualities on to colour which must be considered. The type of paint used alters the reading of colour. Matte paint invokes the introspective, it recedes and draws in the spectator. Gloss paint reflects; it is suggestive of surface and mirrors its surrounds. These are physical properties one cannot overlook, unlike the imagined qualities habitually affixed to colour.
Colour eludes description. When colour is isolated and properly treated in its sovereignty, its comprehension supersedes linguistic expression. Bereft of an incompetent qualitative vocabulary we are permitted a space to actually encounter it. Transcendence or sublimity may be the effect if we do not regulate colour through language. We can talk around colour but not of it. This manifesto obviously enacts the former.
Accordingly, let us approach the eventual self-determination of colour by regarding these statements as a necessary truth. Only by disengaging from previous falsities about colour can we allow colour to reinstate its natural position.
FIRM HOLDEce YavuzNight Screen08.09–23.09
Firm Hold is an examination of the ability of an individual to transcend the negative forces that face humanity. The work extracts slivers of the human condition and portrays them in a new visual universe. Created against a background of political instability in Turkey, the pieces are a fusion of three dimensional computer art and domestic video imagery. Central to the piece is a spindle of yarn, its soaking threads a manifestation of societal encumbrance.
TWO STRANGERS IN A ROOMErik Bünger & Sophie Neate7UP07.09–25.09
Erik Bünger is a Swedish artist, composer and writer living in Berlin. His work revolves around the human voice and its contradictory relationship to the body, to language, music and technology. The voice is not addressed as a phenomenon, which gives rise to personal, human presence and interpersonal communication but rather as the very thing that allows something other, radically inhuman, to enter and take control of the human body.
Sophie Neate is a Melbourne based artist. Her work explores the qualities of surface and depth in materials and images researching aerial photography and treating images as materials. In her work, terrain is presented as a skin stretched over a whole lot of other objects and activity. The variation in surface qualities points to something happening beneath its surface (wet, dry, cracked, soft etc…)
“First, I wondered how exactly I would get inside a plant. I made a conscious decision to let my imagination take over and found myself entering the main stem through a doorway at its base. Once inside, I saw the moving cells and water travelling upward through the stem, and let myself move with the upward flow. Approaching the spreading leaves in my imagination, I could feel myself being drawn from an imaginary world into a realm over which I had no control.”
— The Secret Life of Plants, Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, 1973.
In their seminal pseudo-scientific text The Secret Life of Plants, Tompkins and Bird assert that philodendrons have a particular empathy with humans. Great-Great-Grandplant examines the emotional exchange between people and their houseplants. Merging one’s consciousness with a living organism, particularly one known for its affinity with humans is an exercise that may, once mastered, also be applied to more challenging objects, spaces and with some effort the complex and loaded things that are contemporary artworks.
Emerging Writers Program
Show 9, 2016
Writer: Erin Wilson
Origin and Etymology
New Latin, from Greek, neuter of philodendros loving trees, from phil- +dendron tree
First Known Use: 1877; A tropical American climbing plant which is widely grown as a greenhouse or indoor plant.
In 1973, the seminal text The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird reached The New York Times best-seller list for non-fiction. The pseudo-scientific text presented a myriad of experiments that claimed plants were sentient beings: displaying preferences for musical styles; anticipating the thoughts of humans; and showing empathy for the plight of fellow plants.1 The text latched on to the increasing popularisation of New Age thinking during this period, and was the catalyst for a shifting, more amorous view of plants. Many believe there may be deeper connections between the capabilities of plants and our own cognition, communication and memory, while others have suggested that The Secret Life of Plants has negatively impacted future scientific investigations into plant behaviours, as researchers became wary of aligning themselves with the field of plant sentience.
Rather than finding its basis in science, Jesse Dyer’s work is a thought experiment. Dyer asks visitors to engage in a guided meditative process in order to project their consciousness onto a common Philodendron houseplant, asking participants to set aside logic, instead opening themselves up to an intuitive experience with the plants. Through this exchange Dyer seeks to test whether the ecological can rival the archival—an investigation into information systems and the dissemination of knowledge, through the poetic alignment of the knowledge contained in a library with that contained in gardens.
Facts, information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject; Awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation
As codes and data become unreadable, communications systems are regularly surpassed and technologies become obsolete, Dyer asks if is there room for an alternative source of knowledge. The therapeutic and revitalising effect of the serotonin levels we absorb in green spaces is widely accepted, but do gardens have more to offer us? Do plants, despite having no brain or nervous system, have emotions; can they communicate? Can they be empathic?
The field of plant neurobiology is divisive, with some believing that it may hold the key to a shift in our understanding of other forms of life, while others suggest the field is a dangerous regression into the pseudo-science of The Secret Life of Plants. The nature of plants as responsive and adaptive beings is not disputed. Plants sense and respond to a long list of stimuli and shifting environmental conditions, including “light, water, gravity, temperature, soil structure, nutrients, toxins, microbes, herbivores, chemical signals from other plants,”2 responses which have been explored by Dyer in his broader practice. However, the responsive behaviours of plants to such stimuli and conditions does not reflect our own nervous system, as noted by Lincoln Taiz—a U.C. Santa Cruz emeritus professor of plant physiology—who has stated that those who suggest otherwise are engaging in an “over-interpretation of data, teleology, anthropomorphizing, philosophizing, and wild speculations.”3
Another researcher, plant molecular biologist Stefano Mancuso, has suggested that brains may in fact be a disadvantage for plants due to their immobility.4 Being rooted to the ground, plants have developed alternative, unique and sophisticated systems for sustaining and defending themselves while remaining in a fixed location. For example, plants can survive losing up to ninety percent of their body, a highly unique trait. Furthermore, some plants have evolved the ability to produce toxins in their leaves to deter animals from eating them, in some cases even delivering a lethal dose. It has been suggested that farmers may adopt systems such as this in the future as plant-based alternatives to pesticides.
In order to develop these defence mechanisms, plants have evolved senses—including those aligning with our own senses. Michael Pollan states: “Plants have evolved between fifteen and twenty distinct senses, including analogues of our five: smell and taste (they sense and respond to chemicals in the air or on their bodies); sight (they react differently to various wavelengths of light as well as to shadow); touch (a vine or a root ‘knows’ when it encounters a solid object); and, it has been discovered, sound.”5 However, it is questionable whether the development and use of these senses equates to a type of knowledge or intelligence.
The ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations; The skilled use of reason; The ability to use knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria
Pollan asserts that none of the scientists working in the field of plant intelligence that he has spoken with believe that plants are empathic, or able to communicate, or read minds. Rather, he aligns the type of intelligence that plants exhibit with that of insect colonies, “where it is thought to be an emergent property of a great many mindless individuals organized in a network.”6 It may instead be suggested that language is at the core of the intelligence discussion. While plants may exhibit behaviours that we can best understand by aligning them with familiar terms such as intelligence, memory and learning, these terms may be best utilised in relation to creatures with brains, establishing the need for new terms for the arguably similar behaviours observed in plants.
Referring to the knowledge of plants, Dyer has stated, “The knowledge contained within a library is codified, bound within the confines of written language or illustrations—finite. The knowledge in a garden is experiential, subjective, unconstrained but not always accessible.”7 However, the aforementioned discussion would suggest that the knowledge of plants is chemical and networked, rather than intuitively experienced by those who are receptive to its interpretation. Dyer’s experiment may not hold its value for participants in an unlocking of the wealth of knowledge to be found in these Philodendra. Rather, its value lies in its consideration of multiple ways of defining and disseminating knowledge, and the questioning of the validity, motivation and exclusions of any form of knowledge repository, whether the traditional archive or the humble houseplant.
Bird, C and Tompkins, P. The Secret Life of Plants. Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1989. ↩
Pollan, M. ‘The Intelligent Plant.’ The New Yorker. December 23 & 30 Issue, 2013. p. 92 ↩
Grim but Still WakefulIsobel Taylor-RodgersGallery 218.08–02.09
Isobel Taylor-Rodgers uses elements of the humorous and kitsch to analyse how we live, as well as our creation of, struggle with and attempt to preserve our self-identity. She is also concerned with how this self-identity is manipulated or put into question by external influence. Taylor-Rodger’s work places a level of responsibility on the viewer, creating scenes that are initially laughable or humorous but deteriorate upon greater inspection. The works become neither genuinely funny nor ironic, but heartbreaking and indifferent.
“They are deliberately funny and then not; gimmicky and suddenly serious, and the works show cracks, flaws, an off-ness that leaves them deeply unsettling. Taylor-Rodgers strives to deliver the unease, the guilt, the grating self-reflection of realising ‘that’s not really funny.” – Beth Rose Caird
Emerging Writers Program
A Live Work
by Kit Riley
It’s the fourth fifth of July, and it’s a cold rainy morning, and I’m beginning to write edit this essay. It’s the fourth fifth of July, and it’s after the eighteenth of August, and you’re here to see Grimm But Still Wakeful by Isobel Taylor-Rodgers.
Grimm But Still Wakeful is a live performance about death. It’s likely you’ve already missed the opening night performance, and you’re reading this essay in a nearly unpopulated gallery, and you’re just standing here, looking at a previously-live work lying in a white room.
Perhaps it’s after the second of September, and you’ve missed even the installation, and the gallery is already full of somebody else’s art. Or perhaps it’s opening night, and you’re actually here at the live performance of Grimm But Still Wakeful. Be that as it may, in my mind you’re reading this having missed the performance, but not the exhibition.
It’s after the eighteenth of August, and here you are amongst what’s left over. If you had attended the live event, you might have had to deal with that peculiar anxiety where you’re observing the bereaved the artist as if she were a body of work, and you feel kind of awkward about just observing her, and you think maybe she doesn’t want you to interact with her anyway, and even if she did you can’t begin to think what you could do or say and you just feel lost, you feel that the usual social norms and expectations to which you are accustomed simply don’t apply in this situation and you can find no appropriate alternative framework to guide your thinking and interactions so you’re trapped in a worried stasis in which you can’t seem either to observe or to interact which causes you to feel even more intensely the imperative to be able to relate with people in this container for mourning culture to which you cannot return after the dispersal of the group and the rehiring of the space for another person’s wake show.
Luckily, you’re here after the fact, so although you’ve missed the action, you’ve also missed the anxiety. Here you are, in the gallery the funeral home a retreating interior, a transposable space that, when empty, may as well be altogether absent. Here you are, in a room that exists intermittently, a room made present by a procession of interchangeable things people deaths bodies.
It’s the fourth fifth of July, and it’s forty-five forty-four days until the performance of Grimm But Still Wakeful. The action is still unperformed, and the installation is still unconstructed. I’m trying to imagine the thing about which I write, and I can picture nothing but the blank walls I recall from my visits to previous shows.
It’s the fourth fifth of July, and I’m remembering a past that has yet to occur, and it’s after the eighteenth of August, and you’re imagining a present to which you can’t catch up.
Kit Riley – Bio
Kit Riley is an artist, writer, and zinemaker who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Kit is interested in the thick and porous boundaries between here and there, self and other, sanity and madness, something and nothing. Kit creates text-, image-, and textile-based works in an attempt to reimagine communicative norms and reinhabit socially awkward environ/mentalities.
Kit has exhibited work in Melbourne, including at SEVENTH, the Substation, and FOUND Festival. Kit’s writing has been published in Sitelines and Mad In America. http://noparticularbusiness.com
Herba MorbusCatherine PolczGallery 118.08–02.09
Herba morbus is a museum-style exhibition that explores the theme of plant intelligence. By displaying illustrations and artifacts from the field, Herba morbus examines the ways in which we try to understand plants; and asks a question that eternally mystifies:
What does a plant know?
Examining the question from a scientific, pseudoscientific, mythological and art perspective, Herba morbus traces the idea of plant intelligence from its Aristotelian roots to the present day.
Catherine Polcz is an artist and scientist inspired by nature and interested in questions of how we understand it. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Biology and a Masters in Plant Science and has studied documentary media and photography at University and artist run centres in Toronto. She has exhibited artwork in Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco and Melbourne, and has curated projects at mmuseumm (NYC) and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Sydney).
Inside OutLeonie Ryan18.08–02.09
My research fleshes out how we find meaning in contemporary art by other senses than sight, though does not exclude sight. Through my projects I am attempting to create conditions in which the visitor can develop a heightened awareness of their conscious or unconscious associations with sensory experience for example touch, smell and temperature.
Inside Out is motivated by experimental approaches and is inspired by the natural history of site, a time when eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus globulus) grew plentiful, long before Fitzroy was a bustling suburb. Eucalyptus trees are endemic throughout Victoria and its scent is quite distinct. A sensorial reference has been noted by many people on arrival outside the Melbourne airport.
WaterfallRobyn BaseNight Screen18.08–02.09
The transience of water is a recurring theme in Base’s work, examining water’s fluidity, its frozen form and its absence. The Waterfall video presents local fountains, filmed in slow motion, monochrome, and screened through an overlay of cracked glass. Emphasizing notions of voyage and return, molten shapes rise and fall, sinuously building into identifiable forms, then with a calm rhythm gradually breaking down and transforming into new familiar visions. The use of shattered glass as a veneer is a common thread, connecting previous projects. It distorts the images, adding fragility, and an otherworldly eeriness, while referencing a cracked Australian landscape.
(This video was originally screened in September 2015 at Cascade Gallery in Kehl, Germany, in collaboration with German sound artist, Michael Vierling, who composed an electro-percussive soundscape as a live performance.)
Airing Out Your HoaxLoralee Newitt28.07–12.08
Loralee Newitt’s practice is predominately located in the practice of painting utilizing the medium to look at what can be represented beyond the use of language. Her canvases forever shift through visual ambiguities – their starting points often triggered by way of Newitts stumbling upon reminiscent sensations that include remembered places, faces and her relationships with others. The experience is sensuous, luscious, bodily, and emotional.
Expectancies unravel evenly, lure rolling, rousing the agitation
Reeling in falling wattle, no relief in wind, washing you down
Perkiest pinks burrowing instead–residing in the pit
Corroding all you built, shadowing the swarms
Abundant petals debilitating elegance Loosing: feeling, colour, rhyme, brush or grace: pot it with the rest
Museum built despite the truth, to gain, bead off in return – anything’ll do
Tantalizing dance of more than just you and me
Climbing between stalks and fronds, curling a way up
Comparisons altered with each step, longing for difference of not enough
Sun fillers, time missed and counted
Familiarity echoes in to wedge the mind of newness, barricading
Deep-rooted chambers become goliath – rewarding a return
Coaxing a melting form to whither down
Air out your signs, seeing, gazing, hoaxing
Demonstrate the ways of moving, one step to the other
Verses are movement, colours static fall, unsure which to follow
Dampness entrenches our interactions
A question that’ll never want an answer, the silent bawl for warmth, or
Guidance in the form of a stable arm, under a shoulder blade – keeping
Afloat, gliding around awhile, leave the wound to have wind travel over,
Drifted along stuck in the need/weed
Curling a Way Up – Loralee Newitt
Loralee graduated with a BFA from Victorian College of the Arts in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include Shelter chooses you, Fort Delta, 2015. Recent Group exhibitions include So Much Staying Alive and Lovelessness, Tristian Keonig, Melbourne, 2015; Tide, C3 contemporary Art Space, Melbourne, 2015; Perfect Lethargy of Orbit, Rubicon ARI, Melbourne, 2015; Smell of an Oily Rag, Fort Delta, Melbourne, 2015; Summer Projects III, Boom Gallery, Melbourne, 2016.
An Arctic Time SignatureDevika BilimoriaNight Screen28.07–12.08
Upon Arctic rock a moving figure ignites a grey and remote environment. Progressively, duplicated bodies trace over this slow ancient terrain drawing forth a playground anchored by touch, bringing the mind closer to the earth, to time itself.
The echoing selves’ cross paths, scramble, sit and contemplate with play and exploration; together resembling a chaotic scattered mind, slipping between rumination and persistent thought. Upon reflection, the landscape reminds us that we are alone, traveling on the backs of our self-created narratives – distracted from deep solitude and solace in the suspended unknown.
In 2015 An Arctic Time Signature was selected as a Finalist in the Macquarie Digital Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in the ACT, and in 2016 for the Nillumbik Art Prize exhibiting at Montsalvat in Victotia. Devika was also a finalist for the Bowness Photography Prize at the Monash Gallery of Art in 2015.
BLUSHINGS will present a series of hand-embroidered, intimate textile works examining individual historicity and the emotional implications of the artists’ deployment of personalised pain. Littered anecdotes act as pale bruises, producing soft-hued impressions across a landscape throughout a lifetime, untruths are portrayed here via a delicate and at once muted embossing.
Bradley’s work questions the notion of truths and the importance of memory preservation in the conjuring of the self.
This exhibition is part of Craft Victoria’s Craft Cubed 2016 program – ‘it’s in the detail’.
There will be an artist talk and Vocal Narratives event in the exhibition space from 4pm Saturday 6th August.
High by Adam Ridwan
Snow at the Opera House by Shannon May Powell
Traversing The Void (Of Time, Land and Art in a State of Wild Captivity)Natalie PapakGallery 228.07–12.08
This is a project that began in July 2014 in Vallauris, the South of France where Natalie produced and exhibited work for her AIR Vallauris artist in residence placement. Geographically, this historically significant site is framed by the Pyrenees Mountains and the Eastern coastline.
The site inspired the production of art driven by intangible sensations generated by flux and shifts in place, pace, and the self. In this installation, traversing is linked to fluid and cyclic thought processes, where one might find familiarity in daily rituals. Belief systems, heritage, cycles of completion and new beginnings become a far reaching psychological platform to navigate whilst seeking to fulfil desires and reach what can be at times, indefinable destinations.
Accompanying work by Luke You, creator of YOU fanzine: Dear You
Where Two Oceans Meet: Selected Histories of Flinders BaySophie DurandGallery 128.07–12.08
– with Alistair Kennedy, Georgia Jean Lewis, Nelson Mondlane, Ariel Tresham and Amelia Tuttleby
“In Flinders Bay, the Pelican Man feeds the pelicans. He uses an ironing board as a table and throws the left over bits and pieces from his recent catch to the birds; 19 Davies Road has been on the market for many years. In 2011 it was featured in the movie ‘Drift’ but is yet to be sold; a man asks for signatures requesting stairs to be built as a memorial to two longstanding residents, the tourists ask for barbeques.”
Where Two Oceans Meet: Selected Histories of Flinders Bay builds from narratives and memories of Flinders Bay, a small holiday settlement in the southwest of Australia. Borrowing from models of theatre and television in its construction, this exhibition is a multi-part installation that activates and reinterprets local histories.
Accompanying essay: A Taxonomy of Wrecks
One more time, this time for realAlice Duncan7UP16.06–01.07
Photography is a misunderstanding and the photograph is a lie.
Strongly rooted in analogue photography, Alice Duncan’s practice investigates society’s reliance on photography to represent the real, or as evidence of an event; a reliance that has led us to mistake photography with the act of seeing.
In One more time, this time for real, Duncan exposes the strange and often sadistic relationships that exist between photographs and readily available objects; humiliating photography’s inability to truly represent the real. With a heavy emphasis on materiality, Duncan distances the viewer from the emotive and personal subject matter of the photographs. This allows a more complex and analytical approach to art production, whereby photography is merely a tool for encountering events and articulating their strangeness.
Essay by Nicola Bryant undertaken as part of our SEVENTH’s Emerging Writers’ Program: Nicola Bryant & S7
So Help MeGeorgia Banks16.06–01.07
Every time I see her work I think of pussy… so help me… Using her mouth as a surrogate vagina and her tongue as a surrogate clitoris, in the context of her face, with its whole psychological history, was wrong stuff! … so help me … Bad in an amusing, old fashioned way … so help me… Has no theory of the representations of women … so help me … Presents women as unproblematic … so help me … It does not take into account the social contradictions of ‘femininity’ … so help me … A harmless air of narcissism pervades this show … so help me … Her self exposure, which translates as some kind of rhetoric of sexual freedom for women, is too facile, too simple a formulation … so help me … so help me so help me so help me Hannah; I aim to be a female monster too
Jane Frances Dunlop is an artist and writer whose work addresses emotion and performances of relation on the internet. In (tfw) spin measure cut, Dunlop uses the gestures of the Moirai to structure a series of triptychs exploring the intersections of contemporary technologies and emotions. The Moirai, in Greek mythology, spin the thread of life, measure its length and cut it. These gestures – related labours that perform and define living – frame an approach to the intersections of the functional, material and emotional terms of contemporary networked life. (tfw) spin measure cut examines how intimacy unravels in contexts of digital ubiquity.
Essay by Anita Spooner undertaken as part of our SEVENTH’s Emerging Writers’ Program: Anita Spooner & S7
THE LADY AND HER DOGRebecca MarshallGallery 116.06–01.07
Rebecca explores narrative, authorship and creative process to bring together seemingly disparate ideas and references. Engaging with memory, identity and the digital cultural experience her work continually moves from the real to the imagined and the everyday to the fantastical.
The images and archetypes in this exhibition concern the symbolic relationship between man and woman. Woman defined as chaos, shapeless and shape shifting. Man, as odd, straight, detached, unmoving and remote.
Many of the works derive from a short story written by Anton Chekhov, The lady with the dog. The story follows a Russian banker and a young woman he meets in Yalta. Comprising 4 parts the story ends with no resolution, a study of human love and destiny.
囚人 (Shūjin)Jonathan HomseyNight Screen26.05–10.06
囚人 (Shūjin) inspects stoicism in the professional workplace in the Eastern world. Jonathan Homsey uses his own life experiences and anecdotes from his childhood in Hong Kong to examine the duality of the highly paced work-ethic against the serene practices of tai chi and qi gong. A Cantonese-born American, he takes his past experiences as a platform for the viewer to examine how their professional life affects their mental health.
Homsey is a graduate of Victorian College of the Arts in Dance (2011) and is passionate about creating site specific and cinematic choreography based installations.
ARABIAN COFFEE BUCKSMajed FayadGallery 126.05–10.06
Majed Fayad’s work focuses on addressing the differences between the Middle Eastern and Western cultures, with a strong focus on consumerism, globalisation and current popular culture. Fayad’s process considers the development of cultural commodities by aesthetically changing their image by becoming a new item of the ‘West’ or constructing a tableau display that outlines the effect of the West on the ‘Middle East’. The artist medium involves using a mish-mash of found and green-screen studio constructed videos, photographic popular culture inspired montages made using an iPhone or found images from the internet, buying items that are ‘consumables’ or ‘objects’ that represent a variety of westernized mass-company’s. Lastly, Fayad constructs an installation made by ready-made interiors to produce a surreal environment that creates a conversation between the two ‘commodities’. Fayad’s installations are built to connect both ‘commodities’ to become a display of consumerism within the form of Art addressing the notion ‘The Middle East is being invaded by the West’
Since bottoming out near $38 in December, painting has rallied to presently be trading above $48. Over the next 2 weeks the bulk commodity is expected to jump by 3%. Andrew Duong, a key investor, in the flexible and scalable format, has described the current fluxes in painting as “positive and potentially profitable.” It is unclear whether there will be an increase in dividends yet the key shareholders remain set in their equity investment. During this period it is likely that private investors will look elsewhere to diversify their portfolios. Although a short term rally in the Fitzroy region is expected to create more active traders.
Taken SpacesMadeline Bishop & Leela Schauble7UP26.05–10.06
Taken Spaces is a collaborative exhibition between Leela Schauble and Madeline Bishop who are both current Master of Fine Arts candidates at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. The works will explore human presence among environments from which they are either visually absent or uninhabitable, considering alternative representations of human existence and experience. Schauble’s video works were created on an artist residency in the Arctic Circle and focuses on uninhabitable natural landscapes and the results of human interactions within this space. Bishop’s photographs aim to capture human traces within spaces where people are physically absent, considering what is left behind in mere seconds or over decades. The works both aim to understand our impact on the world around us and our place among the grand narrative of our planet.
Essay by Marisa Georgiou undertaken as part of our SEVENTH’s Emerging Writers’ Program: Marisa Georgiou & S6
Radosavljevic questions the function of decorative elements as communicative vessels within contemporary art. Considering the interrelated trajectory of utility and decorative aesthetic between art history and contemporaneity, this collection of works is intended to establish a dialogue between visual mediums, content and adornment.
What happens after we reduce everything to its bare essentials?
If we reintroduce decoration does its dialogue shift from simple adornment to something capable of communicating more complex ideas?
Architectural metaphors are a key language used in an endeavour to reflect Radosavljevic’s contradicting internal dialogue. His contribution navigates the contemporary landscape through installation and static art. Elements reflective of culture and customs are misplaced and blurred to isolate and frame the context of his studio investigation.
BClare Peake & David AttwoodGallery 105.05–20.05
The exhibition B sees artists David Attwood and Clare Peake contemplate the creative potential of unproductiveness, and in particular procrastination as a strategy for arriving at new forms and ideas.
In Peake’s work How to get from A to C: A meditation on B a series of greek inspired ceramic vessels diarise everyday life in Broome. While Attwood’s Doldrums reveal short written statements that earnestly but glibly reflect the artist’s inhibitions regarding the significance of time spent making art.
BedshedCurated by Jessie Bullivant7UP05.05–20.05
Christo Crocker, Brian Fuata, Ian Milliss, James Parkinson, Gemma Weston, Makiko Yamamoto
7UPs inaugural exhibition Bedshed will explore the domestic setting as an aestheticized, utilitarian and politically charged space, presenting a diverse suite of works that engage with materials and concepts relating to domesticity. The exhibition’s curator Jessie Bullivant has invited a selection of artists to produce, revisit and reshow a range of material and conceptual approaches in an exhibition that operates as a ‘house warming’ for this new gallery space.
Through the presentation of various types of documents, Makiko Yamamoto reveals intimate fascinations revolving around her body within the home. Often taking an absurd and humorous approach Yamamoto brings her private performances into a public space to assert a physical presence from material often discarded. Yamamoto will present her first grey pubic hair, which was originally shown at West Space in the solo exhibition Home Recordings (2012).
The materials employed by Melbourne based artist Christo Crocker also relate to bodily use and durability, as well as being informed by photographic and chemical processes. Everyday disposable materials such as aluminium foil, plasticine, paper napkins and matchsticks, are transformed by light yet decisive gestures. The exhibition will include a remake of Sydney artist Ian Milliss’ work Doormat (1970), a large slab of foam placed at the gallery entrance that produces a simultaneous obstruction and softening of this threshold.
Gemma Weston will install a made-to-measure revision of But you could tell she led a rich interior life (2015), a digitally printed curtain that incorporates jewellery into its construction. Weston uses abstracted and stylised references to parts of the body, the Simpsons and craft processes to explore culture and the construction of individuality and interiority.
James Parkinson tracks the execution of taste, control and materiality in suburban domestic settings through his sculpture practice. For Bedshed, he will focus on the domestic cat as a metaphor for art; a version of the wild thing that has been repositioned as complimentary to domestic interiors.
Bedshed will also host a special afternoon performance Care Disfigurements: a third recital, by Sydney artist Brian Fuata. Fuata uses the figure of the ghost as a strategy for exploring the conventions of performance and presentation that haunt the contemporary. He has recently performed versions of this work at London’s Chisenhale Gallery (2015) and ACCA (As part of Framed Movements, 2014).
Care Disfigurements: a third recital
Brian Fuata performance
Saturday 7 May 4:00 – 5:00pm
This project has been assisted by the Australian Artists’ Grant. The Australian Artists’ Grant is a NAVA initiative, made possible through the generous sponsorship of Mrs Janet Holmes à Court and the support of the Visual Arts Board, Australia Council for the Arts.
out side inWill Heathcote05.05–20.05
Will Heathcote’s sculptures fix an experience of a place by taking an impression from a specific site and reworking it in the studio. Through moulding and casting techniques drawn from traditions in theatre and film set production, this work presents fragments of outside places reframed inside the gallery. It positions mould making as a photographic process capable of capturing and documenting a formation, object or space. Like electrons passing through the lens and leaving impressions on the square light sensor or film of a camera, the subject leaves an imprint in the latex or silicone jacket. This then becomes the trace of a particular place at a particular moment in time.
Della Butler Curator Statement:
OUT SIDE IN
Observations of our natural habitat provide a grounding quality to our over-stimulated senses, and a source of refuge in our hectic existence within modern society.
In Will Heathcote’s recent work there is a strong investigative process that occurs between personal encounters within nature, and sculptural production.
From initial documentation with a pocket camera lens, the subsequent images form part of an investigation into the ephemeral qualities of objects.
A trace, fragment or shard of a specific environment is captured, leading to an intimate sculptural form that becomes an enduring artifact, in contrast to the object’s fleeting existence in its original habitat.
Through casting, Heathcote develops a dialogue around the transitory nature of environmental existence. His bronze pieces give permanence and immortality to otherwise delicate and short-lived fragments of the natural world.
OUT SIDE IN continues this dialogue, and considers a reflection of natural, preserved forms.
Della Butler, 2016
Will Heathcote Artist Statement:
OUT SIDE IN
A cool blanket of heavy morning air lingers in the field. Sheep graze, in a seemingly hypnotic trance, consuming the pasture underfoot. Brought across the sea in timber cups, they have been mowing this land since colonial settlement. From this vantage point there are droves freckled across the grassy vista – each locked into a constant, collective procession.
A river valley stretches far into the distance, framed by highland plateaus on each side. The evidence that this place was once an ancient glacial drain lies in the dirt under my feet. I look down and find small fragments of the surrounding quartzite mountains embedded in the black clay soil. The stones remain a material testament to these melting glaciers of 11,000 years ago. They are mostly rounded, but interspersed with sections of more violent angular fractures – points that have given way to the gradual pressure of time in moments of rupture. The volume of water and ice that once crashed through this very spot must have been immense. It is a flow now reduced to a relatively small trickle. Reflections of the early sun outline a river as it winds its way toward the coast, it has room to move courtesy of its ancestor. I look down the valley, it has a patina of introduced livestock – all grazing, day in and day out.
This is a landscape commonly known for its colonial relics; a squatter’s cottage, derelict barn or retired stonewall, but I want to imagine how it might have appeared prior to this shift in history. Like many places, this is one that reveals itself in layers. The ghostly, ruined shells of sandstone homesteads are set next to the silver white skeletons of the large dead eucalypts that dot the landscape. Victims of die back, the roots of these monolithic trees are burned by a saline water table which is the product of colonial clearing, grazing and modern agriculture. This is a place changed, not as it was, but then again where is? As the blanket lifts on a new day the place is ever so slightly different from the day before, never again to be entirely as it was. The sheep continue their all-consuming trance; grasses are taken on, digested and transformed into fleece and shit. I shed my synthetic blend coat as the day warms – it is unusually heavy – the pockets are weighed down by a collection of quartzite rocks.
Thornton-Smith attempts to dissolve the literal and metaphorical boundaries of different mediums through the process of collaging materials. Originally trained as a painter she approaches ceramics in a different way to traditional potters, using ceramics as another ‘canvas’ on which to paint. Working with clay gives her practice three-dimensionality and opens up a dialogue between various art forms. The hand-built element of her ceramic vessels relates to both to sculpture in its haptic nature and to traditional pottery its form. ‘Useless’ handles, lumpy form and unglazed pots suggest a tension between the functional and the non-functional, the utilitarian object and ornament. Underglazes create a painterly finish that mimic the flat colour of acrylics. Painting these pots on paper (that mimics a canvas) then encourages a back-and-forth conversation between the real and the represented, between “art” and the “artisanal”, between the language of painting and that of ceramics.
Text by Georgia Anson – hands-that-shape-mud – Georgia Anson
You Can See Me But I Can’t See YouKristen ColemanNight Screen05.05–20.05
Kristen Coleman is an emerging Adelaide based artist whose video installation practice considers cinema as an aesthetic object. Using appropriated film sequences, much of Coleman’s work explores the reception and experience of personal affect that is somehow tethered to the cinematic image.
In You Can See Me But I Can’t See You, sampled from Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas, she examines the traditionally centered and distanced spectator position. The work challenges and reverses the idea of cinematic voyeurism, an act that is inherent to the medium itself.
Coleman is a graduate from the University of South Australia’s School of Art, Architecture and Design (Bachelor of Visual Arts), and Adelaide Central School of Art (Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours).
Shae Rooke’s audiovisual installation, Spectacle, evokes nature’s wonderland. There’s the Australian bush, a historic garden and a picture of a tree. The star of the show is a 3D hologram picture of a tree – as the angle of the picture tilts the image magically changes. Rotating on a hidden pedestal, the tree gently spins through the garden, offering portals into fantasy landscapes.
Spectacle marvels quietly; a cheeky play on picturesque landscapes and a celebration of a beloved kitsch object. This strange mix of the absurd, the beautiful and the nostalgic creates a Euclidian space to contemplate fluid interpretations of landscape.
Sound design by Garth Sheridan.
TerrainsAra DolatianGallery 131.03–15.04
Image taken by Eliza Tiernan
Plaster, wax, cement, dye, water, water bumps, metal, plants, plastic
Terrains is a sculptural installation capturing a hybrid landscape. The pieces are biomorphic objects casted from domestic & building waste materials. Assembled from cement, plaster, and wax, these sculptures have a circulating water system that flows through them on a predetermined path.
Dolatian is interested in the cumulative growth of global land coverage through the ages and the encroaching impact on the landscape by human industrialisation. The work is a reflection on ecological systems where the boundaries between the factual and fictitious are blurred – new formations are the product of both imaginary and economic desires.
The Arctic is an eyeKatie TurnbullNight Screen31.03–15.04
This part film, part data visualisation is an exploration of climate change in the Arctic Circle. It depicts environmental data and responses from climate change opinion polls embedded into the Arctic landscape. It reflects on the malleability of information; what we know and see, in contrast to our inaction. Our primordial brain and the process of sight served as inspiration for the writing of a parable style text in attempt to define a human identity for the Arctic. Globalisation has challenged traditional notions of identity and perhaps, in turn, has disrupted our abilities for empathy and added to disassociation with current events. Anthropomorphising the Arctic is a way to encourage curiosity and consideration.
This is Spiritual & PhysicalMarlaina Read with sound by Kate ClarkGallery 231.03–15.04
Marlaina Read is invested in making liminal spaces habitable through immersive, collaborative and meditative works and examining the space where technology and the human intersect, through both assistance and negation. Through a variety of traditional and exploratory techniques, she creates photographs, installation and video that reference navigation, place marking, labour, ritual and output, grounded in ideas of collectivity and exchange. Using analogue and experimental processes and working in environments of solitude, she responds to specific conditions of that place.
Alternative Australian CurrencyOliver Hull10.03–25.03
…Live bull ant, meat pie, spinifex, aura of Barry Humphries, used Le snack, melted Caromelo Koala, Tazos, petrol Ignition from Mad Max’s interceptor, shark skin signed by Mick Fanning, hand worn granite,polished coal, cocktail flag, iron ore from Hancock Prospecting, Naru, Madden Bros, Chunks of Bon Scotts Freo prison cell, earth, beer can with bullethole, Bottlecap, Mt Everest vs Kosciuszko comparison, scrimshaw gum nut, anything with Ned Kelly’s face, Kronosaurus teeth, water, asbestos, onion, scrimshaw Concrete, Solo, Pasito, Chikoroll package, Australian coin super animal, urban sprawl, nail from Moondyne Joes cell, forgetting history, Manus island, the smaller knife from Crocodile Dundee…
Grab a PartnerJenna PippettGallery 210.03–25.03
Grab a partner draws on a personal narrative of Europeans in 1970 Australia. In this new installation Jenna Pippett responds to a photo of her Grandmother and friend demonstrating a gymnastic exercise in a SA Czech Club. It was popular for newly immigrated Europeans to attend organised activities at these types of clubs.
The video Gymnastika re-stages the observed action, aiming to emphasise the use of photographs as personal documentation and acknowledging the slightly peculiar outcomes of culture and family. Grab a partner attempts to forge a link to the past by recreating and re-imagining situations.
LeisurelandCameron Bishop & Simon ReisGallery 110.03–25.03
Leisureland draws on a critical thread that has emerged in the recent works of Bishop & Reis, namely, the cultural capital, and attendant physical and mental energies the modern audience and its producers bring to the work of art in the age of spectacular capitalism. At the same time the work continues the institutional and cultural critique that Bishop & Reis have brought to their projects over the last five years by building a temple, a disco and a moving stage, from which the subject can watch the world go by. Two Thirds Column
Terror ExcitementGabrielle Leah NewNight Screen10.03–25.03
Gabrielle Leah New is a Multidimensional performing artist who’s practice comprises; Butoh Dance Theatre, Performance, Costume, Improvisation, Video, Photography and Installation. She has a profound interest in healing, ritual and the intra-psychic landscapes of the human mind. Using the body to explore identity, relationship (to self, other and place) and the process of transformation.
Ambiguous at first.
She looks right at you.
What is she seeing? What is she thinking?
The mask of her face distorts.
In constant flux.
The experience builds…
Please read accompanying essay by Grace Slonim HERE
[Three works; video, live performance and facilitated storytelling, exploring the intimate relationship between emotions of Terror and Excitement.]
Debts, sees Chang using everyday materials symbolic to the consumer culture in which we currently live. The artist believes that the stress of this culture is often at the root of many family and social problems.
Chang is recent graduate of RMIT’s Maters of Fine Art and has exhibited both locally and internationally. Recent projects include solo exhibitions at Rubicon ARI, Red Gallery and Gallery Smith Project Space and a group exhibition in Malaysia’s, Penang Malay Art Gallery.
1 x Sculpture,2016,cut household bills, PVA, mixed media, 90cm diameter
1 x Video ,2016,13:10 minutes looped
Half LifeKim BridglandGallery 118.02–04.03
In Half Life, Kim Bridgland explores the tensions of competing narrative, mythologies, and histories through object and through ritual. The work sets out to establish a series of non-narrative elements (false objects) as artefacts that acquire genuine value and authenticity in the attachment of affect and history. Through this framework Half Life explores subjective histories, personal and collective ethics and innocent culpability within colonial settlement and indigenous dispossession.
The work is a legitimate act of ceremonial mourning and memorialisation, while at the same time it challenges and questions the validity of any and all objects and relics that are given emotional or communal significance.
Chant’s work is a film installation that explores the blurred intersections and in-between spaces of image, garment, space and body, and has been created so as to provide time for a more ‘reflexive’ experience of the performative image in movement, in reference to its visual, and spatial environment. The film depicts a durational and multi layered performance, where body becomes image, and image becomes body, inducing a multi-faceted experience of time, body and image. TRANSITION opens up an opportunity for experiencing the image and the imaginary within the virtual, and constructed space of the film frame and its spatial siting.
Untitled #4Zoe KnightGallery 218.02–04.03
Working with re-purposed malleable materials, Zoe Knight explores ideas that stem from Minimalism and Post-Minimalism. The artist investigates tactile relationships between material, process and installation – object, exhibition space and spectator – through the use of transformed found objects.
Zoe seeks to draw the viewer’s attention to an awareness of their body in the space and the features of the gallery itself. This is achieved through mapping the gallery floor with miniature-sized objects and lowering the ceiling height of the space. Objects are grouped in relation to one another with their formal and aesthetic features in mind, especially balance, texture and shape, while the ceiling alteration encourages viewers to enter the horizontal plane of the objects.
MOVEMENT FOR ACTIONLauren McCartneyGallery 228.01–12.02
I paint still lifes. Models frighten me. The sluts are always watching to catch you off your guard. You’ve got to be on the defensive all the time and the motif vanishes.
-Cézanne, on the difficulties of being an artist 
McCartney’s work explores the historical domination of women’s bodies, and the patriarchal signs placed on them, by situating painterly acts on her body. Accordingly, her body offers a counter-narrative that opposes the use of the female body in modernism, in which the female body has been traditionally owned and controlled by a conventionally male artist who gains his authenticity and autonomy by way of the masculine discourse of art-history. By producing corporeal works that engage the female body, McCartney offers a point of difference that better situates the patriarchal structures that dominate the West, thereby opening up the possibility of encountering the implications of feminine action painting.
 Shapiro, Meyer 1978. “The Apples of Cézanne: An Essay on the Meaning of Still-Life.” In Modern Art- 19th and 20th Centuries: Selected Papers, 30. New York: Georges Braziller.
Sunday RideBasil PapoutsidisGallery 128.01–12.02
Utilizing a sculptural language and construction specific materials, Papoutsidis explores the differences between the theoretical language of architecture and the realities of construction.
Sunday Ride explores the similarities between sculptural studio practice and the custom automotive culture of the 1960’s and 70’s genre. Inspired by the cinematic iconography that surrounds “muscle cars”, it’s masculine orientation and the principles of formalist abstraction, Papoutsidis creates three-dimensional, wall-mounted sculptures and relief’s. Constructed in powder-coated steel, the works dismantle volume and form in colour and demonstrate the history and application of vintage automotive principles.
Between SpacesShelley Jardine31.12–30.01
Between Spaces is a series of site-specific works investigating the notions of perception and spatial relationships using the visual language of hard edge geometric abstraction. The transitions from architecture to art to audience to artist question the viewer’s position in the space, using movement as a key tool to activate the works in their environment.
Jardine graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) and a Bachelor of Arts – Honours and is now undertaking her PhD in Philosophy.
Face is a screen, a barrier that splits me as the inner and the outer Self.
It is showing at the same time it is hiding.
It shows the rational presence to its public.
It hides the internal struggle for its privacy.
Inverted Face: No.1 turns subjectivity inside out, flipping the scree to explore the internal Self behind its face.
Youjia Lu uses digital media to fulfill an idealistic wish to allow the Self return to the stage of existence before the Mirror Stage (meaning an unsocial and unformed Self before the identification with its image in the mirror). She has shown at Columbia University (New York), the Digital Entertainment Jam (Beijing), Marvel: The 2014 Windsor Prize, The Windsor Hotel (Melbourne), Fringe Film: Digital Creatures (Melbourne), Seventh Gallery (Melbourne), George Paton Gallery (Melbourne), Chin Chin Wall of Art (Melbourne) and Melbourne Projection Space (Melbourne), and has recently accomplished her first artist in residency in Picture Berlin (Berlin).
A Funeral in the MountainsCamila Galaz26.11–11.12
Words uttered in an instant. Spoken like a eulogy. Carried like a totem. Softened paper edges. Hands on touch. The funeral, the mountains, the park ranger vehicle – fragments of something lost, a transitional state, muscle memory. What is important. What is remembered. What is repeated. The mountains and the memory.
A funeral in the mountains
Another third world crisis
I really should update my blog
An Apple A DaySebastian KaineyGallery 126.11–11.12
An Apple a Day explores consumer culture, with regard to genetically modified food. By creating hyperreal versions of products found in supermarkets and exaggerating colours and shapes the bold, bright and stark imagery alludes to advertisements that at first may seem familiar.
With the intention of creating a feeling of unease, the viewer is invited to question the perceived reality of these products and the extent to which the natural food cycle is being altered; and as a result has become a victim of consumerism.
An Untitled Series of Original Reflected Duplicate WorksLeanne FaillaGallery 226.11–11.12
An Untitled Series of Original Reflected Duplicate Works investigates the notion of function and its implications on the reading of objects and their purpose. Viewing a chair as an object in which form presents a presumption of purpose, its functioning value when considering designer and replica versions (in this case an original Eames DSR and its replica) begins to explore the objects value beyond its physical†use to that of its psychological worth.
The resulting works become a physical manifestation of the removal of the objects identity. In doing this, the function, both physically and psychologically, is levelled, with the mirroring of each other and further duplication questioning worth as their former and latter selves and to that of our relationship to such objects.
Turn my car into a cameraOlivia KohNight Screen26.11–11.12
Turn my car into a camera lifts a line from a poem Car Camera (2008) by Eileen Myles. This abridged line inflects a way of seeing a corrupted advertising board at night. A square on the board runs out of sync with the others, the camera records on an oblique angle and the image is anamorphic.
EVERYONE LOVES TO WATCH BUILDINGS FALL IThe Welcome CollectiveNight Screen05.11–20.11
5th – 20th November
Everyone Loves to Watch Buildings Fall I
Aaron Prior and Hannah Purvey-Tyrer
The Welcome Collective is an artist collaboration which is concerned with the problematic global issue of how we house ourselves. It exists to visually research the locus of architectural experience within the lives of women and families, Modernist utopian architecture and the global problems of displacement, immigration and societal collapse.
Everybody Loves to Watch Buildings Fall is a found footage video which explores concrete’s brutal aesthetic and iconic significance to domestic architecture, in both wholeness and destruction. The devastating fall of architect Minoru Yamasaki’s World Trade Centre in New York City came after the destruction of his earlier Pruitt Igoe residential developments whose demolition was also iconically caught on camera. There is something compelling and momentous about watching the collapse of a building whether disastrous or planned. This work explores our fear of, and attraction to destruction, bringing to question Modernist utopian dreams for domestic architecture for the masses.
Silent SighKate PowerGallery 205.11–20.11
Silent Sigh considers coexistence and the enforced social constructions that complicate relations between people. It plays out states of minds and human emotions as embodied forms to draw attention to seemingly insignificant occurrences in everyday interactions, suggesting that nonverbal moments are often the most signifying. These moments can be things like indicators of an unspoken connection or a subtle reinforcement of dominance. Approached through philosophical and feminist methodologies, the way social categorisation shapes feeling and thought is considered, with a focus on how space is socially navigated.
Alex Purchase is interested in films and videos, particularly those with women as central characters, and those directed by women. Much of her previous work has been an exploration of the psychological in the spacial aspects of cinema sets and film architecture. This interest continues with a focus on character study and the representation of the feminine in time and space. Her current practice is an attempt to correct this imbalance in her own viewing experience and to encourage others to do so. Films of interest include Je, Tu, Il, Elle, (Chantal Akerman), 3 Women (Robert Altman), Grey Gardens (Ellen Hovde & Albert Maysles), and Bernice Bobs her Hair (Joan Micklin Silver), as well as more contemporary works such as Bé omid é Didar (Mohammad Rasoulof).
The New MuseumBianca DurrantGallery 105.11–20.11
Bianca Durrant presents an insider’s playful commentary, through a catalogued collection of the detritus of the artistic thought and process, in a self reflexive museum installation work – The New Museum. At The New Museum, a range of information, activities and guides help visitors to understand and explore the collection. Guests are encouraged to take a museum tour or explore at their own pace with the audio guide. Questions and Special Requests will be answered by Museum Staff when using #TheNewMuseum @SeventhGallery on Twitter and when visiting at the Front Desk. Information about visiting the Museum and Special Announcements can be found at biancadurrant.com/the-new-museum.html
Stock MaterialityJoseph Flynn15.10–30.10
Joseph Flynn is a Melbourne based artist who explores the way in which the online image is used and appropriated in art and the way in which the proliferation of imagery online affects the way in which we make art itself. What images are used to create the most effective response from the viewer and how in turn stock image photography utilises digital techniques in creating that picture perfect moment? Flynn collects this imagery online and then organises it into digital collages printed onto large pieces of fabric, which are then entangled in a web of rope connecting the walls of the space.
Please find the available artworks from our fundraiser here
To make a purchase please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include details of the work.
Pure Sh-ockerGrace Connors–
Perth based artist Grace Connors presents Pure Sh-ocker, a mock-mockumentary short film which closely examines the schlock, splatter and shock of the Australian Exploitation (Ozploitation) film genre. Connors looks specifically toward those films which have bypassed the cinema entirely and infiltrated the dark and seedy corners of Youtube’s ubiquitous archives, to question their often problematic pursuit for a homogenous, national identity through quasi documentary film making and appropriation. Pure Sh-ocker offers a space to traverse beyond the ’origins’ of these films as dust collecting VHS tapes, hinting toward their fragmented condition in this highly mediated, contemporary landscape and thrusts them into new and defamiliarised territory. Connors observes how this pursuit has morphed over time, from relics of late night television programming, to their dissemination online, and now, as a way to explore what inextricably remains.
(Launch)Curated by Priya Pavri
May 5, 2022 2pm
Feast of Resistance is an act of reimagination: a collection of miscellaneous observations, emotions, and lost memories that abruptly make themselves known again, taking on a new significance when arranged alongside each other. It is shamelessly ironic, playing with stereotypes yet earnest enough to appropriate the cookbook as a form of critique.
Curated by Priya Pavri, Feast of Resistance brings together contributions from artists Moorina Bonini, Jinghua Qian, Aida Azin, Priya Pavri, Lara Chamas, Sancintya Mohini Simpson, Shahmen Suku and Nikki Lam.
Published by Person Books and design by Thomas McCammon and Tyrone Ormsby. Supported by City of Yarra Council through Yarra City Arts and SEVENTH Gallery.
64 pages, 148 × 210 mm, Softcover, Edition of 100
(Workshop)Women’s Art Register
December 12, 2021 10am
Common Threads will see the Women’s Art Register revisit its rich feminist archive through the critical lens of decolonising and with a future vision of inclusivity.
W.A.R. members will undertake a two-week residency at Seventh Gallery, culminating in this one-day event of presentations and a workshop. Speakers will present inclusive and intergenerational projects drawn from the W.A.R. archive and its community, followed by an afternoon workshop that will take the form of a participatory game. Through this playful exploration, questions will be asked about ways to draw on and critically engage with past exhibitions and projects that championed inclusivity and diversity.
Speakers on the day will include:
Koorie Heritage Trust on revisiting the 1993 Can’t See For Lookin’: Koorie Women Artists Educating exhibition
Artist and W.A.R. member Katie Ryan on the intergenerational It Comes In Waves: A Conversation Series
Artist Irene Holub on challenges and future visions for the W.A.R. roadmap to include Deaf artists
Artist Claudia Pharès on her current Residency at W.A.R., motherhood and labour
Arts worker and W.A.R. member Leia Alex on the online mapping project This Is W.A.R!
Artist and W.A.R. member Caroline Phillips on her ongoing project #Imawomanartist
Harrison Ritchie-Jones, Arini Byng and Martina Copley
February 2, 2020 4pm
By Harrison Ritchie-Jones
‘I thought you might have needed the space’
By Arini Byng
Performed by Indiana Coole, Megan Payne, Otto Ivor and Michelle Li, accompanied by harpist Hannah Lane.
Supported by Yarra City Arts, Room To Create.
‘The other way of writing’
By Martina Copley
Readers: Giulia Cattaneo, Martina Copley, Camilla Gough, Francesca Rendle-Short and Elke Varga.
(Artist Talk)Katie Paine
January 1, 2020 6pm
Join artist Katie Paine and Anita Spooner to discuss the exhibition The Second Charade. Paine will touch on illuminated manuscripts, game theory and how fictional narrative and temporality function in her practice.
Hannah Wu, Scott Robinson and Alexandra Hollis
December 12, 2019 3pm
sick leave — a monthly reading series and sometimes-journal — are excited to be working with SEVENTH for an afternoon at the gallery. Join us on Dec 7 for readings in response to an exhibition presented by Adelaide-based art collective, IMMI, a service for helping people deal with and communicate their cultural baggage. Hannah Wu, Scott Robinson and Alexandra Hollis will share their responses to IMMI’s exhibition — engaging with the provocation of a new language called Tempiosa amongst other offerings…
(Artist Talk)Quishile Charan, Esha Pillay, Manisha Anjali and Shivanjani Lal
November 11, 2019 2pm
Join us at 2pm on the 9th of November to hear artists and researchers of Girmit descent discuss the
themes of the exhibition, how we work to repair the lack of recorded female Girmit history, and what it
means to reclaim a space as a descendant—to tell your own histories.
(Education)Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son
October 10, 2019 2pm
You are invited to this artist talk accompanied by a sewing workshop by Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son on the 26th of October at SEVENTH Gallery. In this program, Son will talk about the featured works in her current exhibition, “In the name of love : 사랑이란 이름으로”, the meaning of love in the ideal nurturing space called, ‘family’, and the transitional line that lies between nurture and abuse. There will be an hour workshop of sewing Korean bath towels into a 3 x 3 quilt as a meditation of practicing and embracing different identities that people embody. All materials are provided for the workshop.
This exhibition is proudly sponsored by Yarra City Council.
November 11, 2019 6pm
BREATHING TOGETHER is a new collaboration in partnership with Dancehouse and SEVENTH Gallery, bringing dance-art communities together to respond to choreographies of air.
Choreographer, performer, writer: Amaara Raheem
Singer, performer: Susan Bamford Caleo
Writer, performer: Theron Schmidt
Improviser, performer: Peter Trotman
Musician: Jon Di Napoli
Sound Engineer, Dramaturge: Roslyn Oades
Image: Performance of Amaara Raheem’s Breathing Together, at SEVENTH Gallery
30 November 2019. Photo: Keelan O’Hehir
This will be a night of eating and dancing, featuring spoken word by Uncle Talgium Edwards, a live musical response by Isaac Barton, DJ sets by Soju Gang and DJ Don’t Underestimate My Pussy, and a feed by Mabu Mabu. This event will begin at Seventh Gallery, culminating in a party at Bus projects. Deadly Fringe is produced by Kalyani Mumtaz & Savanna Kruger.
A Rose For (band) will improvise and react to the installation of the show Anathema: Kicking A Dead Horse
September 9, 2019 6pm
A Rose For (band) will improvise and react to the installation of the show Anathema: Kicking A Dead Horse.
Prototype launch party, feat. James Nguyen and Gabriella Hirst
August 8, 2019 6pm
James Nguyen investigates the lost suburban history of the Nissen Huts, a fugitive form of 20th century, flat-packed military architecture in Australia that housed his father immediately after the trauma of immigrating from Vietnam. And Gabriella Hirst takes us to Verdun, France, to a forested town decimated first by the battles of World War 1, and then again by a terrible 21st Century storm, which villagers remember in voiceover.
(Artist Talk)Kelly Yoon and Mohamed Chamas
July 7, 2019 4pm
Join curator KELLY YOON and artist MOHAMED CHAMAS in CONVERSATION.
(Artist Talk)Anj Odessa
May 5, 2019 3pm
ALONE responds to a positioning of gender diverse bodies toward non-monogamy, networks and medical inadequacy.
Catherine Ryan, Melody Paloma and Jonas Mekas curated by Thomas Ragnar
February 2, 2019 4pm
SEVENTH GALLERY and LIQUID ARCHITECTURE present performances by Catherine Ryan, Melody Paloma and Thomas Ragnar
This public program is proudly supported by the City of Yarra, through the Small Project Grants Program.
Julie Ha, Lei Lei Kung, Kamna Muddagouni, Autumn Royal, and Panda Wong
October 10, 2018 3pm
‘itchy bitchy’ is a spring-time afternoon of readings in the SEVENTH courtyard presented alongside the exhibition Itchy, curated by Lorilee Yang. ‘itchy bitchy’ propagates multiple interpretations of ‘itchy’ poetics, with readings and performance by Julie Ha, Lei Lei Kung, Kamna Muddagouni, Autumn Royal, and Panda Wong.
March 3, 2019 6pm
Alexandra Nemaric, Anatol Pitt, Ashley Perry, Azza Zein, Ben Sexton, Benjamin J Baker, Camila Galaz, Carly Lynch, Clare Longley, Edward Ounapuu, Felix Atkinson, Grace Wood, Guy Grabowsky, IchikawaEdward, Jacqui Gordon, Jessie Imam, John Gosper, Katayoun Javan, Katie Paine, Kieren Seymour, Liam Denny, Lotte Schwerdtfeger, Louise Tate, Madeleine Thornton-Smith, Miles Garland Davis, Molly Stephenson, Natasha Manners, Sarah Ujmaia, Sean McDowell, Tash McCammon, Teresa Hsieh, Tess E. McKenzie, Thea Jones, Tori Ferguson, Yiorgo Yiannopoulos, Zarnie Morcombe, Magic Steven, Melody Paloma, Sista Zai, Hepsibah Benjamin, Callan, Ceri Hann, Danni McGrath, Georgia Banks, No Clients, Plastic Loaves, Sabina Maselli, Tace Kelly, Slippage (Hwafern Quach and Phuong Ngo), Sunny Leunig, Terri Dawn Smith, Walter Bukowski, Eric Demetriou, Dj Plead, Jannah Quill (DJ set), Lalić, Living Currency, Roslyn Helper, Lucreccia Quintanilla
(Artist Talk)Jake Treacy
September 9, 2018 6pm
Join curator and poet Jake Treacy along with artists from the exhibition in a walking discussion through Utopian Tongues. This talk engages with inclusivity through identity, culture, sexuality and spirituality to foster healthy spaces and suggests how we might ensure a better and more engaged tomorrow, through knowing the past, within the present. In understanding that utopia translates to ‘no place,’ this talk offers ideas towards how we may construct more inclusive spaces within and beyond the gallery, and how art may be at the service of this utopian act.
Deanna Hitti, Lucreccia Quintanilla, and curator Diego Ramirez
June 6, 2018 6pm
Join artists Deanna Hitti, Lucreccia Quintanilla, and curator Diego Ramirez, for the closing of ‘Family Grimoires: The Diasporic Fantastic’ with an informal event of shared food, drinks, memory, and discussion.
The SEVENTH Emerging Writers Program provides a collaborative opportunity between emerging arts writers and exhibiting artists.
The format of the text is open to experimentation, and can take the form of a catalogue essay, interview, or creative writing, as decided between the writer and the artist. The writer’s work is intended to enhance the experience and understanding of the exhibition, providing an additional perspective or insight.
Writers are mentored throughout the conceptual development of their work, with critical feedback and editorial advice.
SEVENTH acknowledges the traditional owners of the country where we work, the Wurundjeri and neighbours Boonwurrung people, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. SEVENTH pays our respects to their Elders both past and present.