Image: Tricky Walsh, Polysomnogram, 2007. Phototgraph by Peter Robinson

24-Aug-2007 - 16-Sep-2007

Your call is important to us

TRICKY WALSH, SCOT COTTERELL, ANTHONY JOHNSON

curators: michael edwards & craig judd

location: bond store, tasmanian museum and art gallery, hobart

CURATORS' STATEMENT:
The title of this exhibition was chosen by the artists, Scott Cotterell, Anthony Johnson and Tricky Walsh, to signal the omnipresence of connectivity and imminent disruption in contemporary existence.

This is the fourth collaboration between TMAG and CAST. The initial frame of reference for this exhibition was to work with artists who are engaged with a discursive practice outside of the more traditional atelier system. Fifteen Tasmanian artists were invited to submit a proposal to exhibit or develop work for the Bond Store. These are artists who have embraced provisional strategies, installation and time-based practices. We were hoping the eventual selected artists would literally inhabit this historical, charged space and develop their work on site - specifically this site - but logistics and artists’ methodologies subsequently prevailed against this possibility.  

The Your call is important to us artists are not concerned with referencing the form or function of the Bond Store as a charged historical entity. In keeping with a good deal of recent practice, their responses to the Bond Store 'site'  are loosely aligned with a discursive engagement with the both the identifying properties of the umbrella institution (TMAG) and the discourses they reveal from the flow or Erlebnis of their daily lives. While inevitably, heritage concerns are a factor in the final realisation of the works, these are not safe and tasteful exercises in the creation of fake lore.

As Miwon Kwon writes:
It seems historically inevitable that we will leave behind the nostalgic notion of a site and identity as essentially bound to the physical actualities of a place. Such a notion, if not ideologically suspect, is a least out of sync with the prevalent description of contemporary life as a network of unanchored flows. [1]

The discourses that are apparent in the exhibition are linked through the connectivity of quotidian networks with which we all engage. Everyone is plugged in somewhere, is searching, surfing, regulated and monitored. At the same time everyone must negotiate the lumbering control of secular existence: the civic, institutional and statutory order which control our physical/psychic existence.

Scot Cotterell's Reception is an accumulation of small electronic ruptures from the tele-visual world. Familiar pixelated moments perversely hold our attention.  Once again, the screen as mirror of existence is difficult to avoid. Either fascinating or annoying, the motif cuts across and destabilises the natural human interest in sequentiality. An artist who lives vicariously through information technologies, Cotterell asks audiences to consider the 'logic' of linear narrative.

Anthony Johnson’s Living Dead and I used to draw a lot are part Duchampian homages, part contemporary archaeological conceits. These slightly abject accumulations of garbage suggest knowledge systems. Economic concerns are writ large here. Apart from literally negotiating the space, these semiotic fragments invite meditation around conventional notions of aura, use value and worthlessness. Are we at the beginning or end of the (production) line?

Tricky Walsh’s Polysomnogram is a viral spread of balsa wood and foam-core. The pristine nature of the materials are crystallised in the gloomy Bond Store setting. There is an architectonic quality to the complex web of intersecting and jagged lines reminiscent of Futurist inspired lines of force. This work is an abstract trace of an intimate bedroom moment. Rising or falling, the figurative reference is inescapable.

Your call is important to us reveals new elements of Tasmanian contemporary practice to audiences often unfamiliar with process driven art. The artists are linked by their recognition of the routines and habituation of daily-ness. Walsh, Johnson and Cotterell displace and reconfigure ubiquitous tropes. Once again fragmentation is reified. In this exhibition audiences are challenged to reflect on artistic incursions into the realms of domesticated subjectivity.

Craig Judd
Michael Edwards
 

[1] Miwon Kwon, One Place after Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (Cambridge MET Press, 2002) p164.

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