Date: 03-Aug-2018 – 09-Sep-2018
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
Taking the Surrealist game, Exquisite Corpse as a model, this exhibition embraces collective and sequential programming as a strategy in exhibition making. Five Tasmanian artists have been invited by their peers to present work in the Contemporary Art Tasmania Gallery with the exhibition revealing itself over two consecutive presentation periods.
The Surrealist chance-based parlour game, Exquisite Corpse, in either the letter or drawing form, requires participants to write/ draw on a sheet of paper, fold to hide their contribution, and then pass to the next participant. Often a clue from the previous drawing/ text can be seen which operates as a guide for the next participant. This project uses selected elements from the parlor game to generate an expanded curatorial framework.
In keeping with the Surrealist game, the first artist for the Exquisite Corpse exhibition was determined largely by chance. The CAT Program Committee, which is comprised of Tasmanian artists and arts professionals put-forward, a range of artists with one name, Mike Singe pulled from the ‘hat’. Singe was then asked to propose the second artist, this artist then chose the third and so on until 5 artists had been invited to participate. Peer-to-peer relationships and artistic networks have influenced the evolving selection process. It was anticipated that this curatorial model would extend opportunity to a broad and diverse range of artists – to those that may sit outside of CAT’s institutional networks – but as chance would have it the artists in Exquisite Corpse all reside in Hobart with most having shown at CAT previously.
Unlike the Surrealist game, the artists in this exhibition were not asked to respond to the previous artists work. Requesting that an artist create work in reaction to another artist’s work, and possibly make work that sits outside the concerns of their usual practice is a questionable novelty exercise. While the artworks in the Exquisite Corpse are discrete, in presenting them together there is the possibility that connections will be made.
The first opening exhibition will occur on Friday 3 August with the first two artists presenting work in the CAT Gallery. The other participating artists will be revealed over the following weeks and culminate at the second opening on Friday 24 August. Exquisite Corpse will continue till 9 September.
Presenting artists revealed as the exhibition evolves:
Mike Singe’s practice is informed by the shifting human behavior and cultural systems that surround the climate change debate. Singe states that, despite his interest in the subject of climate change, to not mistake him for an environmentally responsible artist. He is acutely aware that he (like many of us with the best of intentions) is entirely complicit in damaging the earth’s natural environment. Within this exhibition the artist highlights the hypocrisies that surround the climate change debate by presenting two distinct components: a series of drawings using captured carbon, to produce images relating to animal and human respiration and a custom sensor solar powered lighting mechanism that converts the energy emitted from in-situ gallery lights into, ironically a more ‘efficient’ system.
Domestic disturbance continues Nicole Robson’s fascination with the theatricality of human domestic environments. Within this work Robson emphasizes the tendency to bring ‘nature’ into our suburban living spaces through various forms of mass produced décor. Robson often works with home furnishings that depict a distorted manifestation of nature and have had a previous ‘life’ – in someone’s home or left in a cupboard for that special occasion that never came. The artificial materiality and contrived aesthetics of the objects she chooses are frequently so far removed from what they seek to evoke that they are considered kitsch.
For this exhibition David Edgar has chosen to develop new work that takes its impetus from elements of the Exquisite Corpse concept. The abyss is a new drawing in charcoal and erasure. Edgar agitates the ambiguous qualities of the Exquisite Corpse – an exhibition with no overarching thematic – and focuses on elements of uncertainty and the unknown. He has drawn on his recent research into visualizing the undetermined void to develop work which combines features of: objective referencing of material things, the sparse rocky interior of a cave and the dark forms in between: alongside its ambiguous subjective interpretation, acknowledged by the artist when drawing, manifest in the forms of loose and expressive mark making and erasure.
Linda Erceg presents Parabiosis. Meaning ‘alongside life’ or ‘living with’, Erceg explores the nature of mutual dependence through an installation of plastic forms and structures that traverse the ceiling, walls and floor of the gallery space. Created through processes such as stitching, knotting and heat treating, these forms are activated through numerous connective hooks and loops. Using chance and randomness, as well as the forces of tension and gravity, Erceg works with these elements to create patterns of feral proliferation. Parabiosis responds to the space that it occupies, creating barriers and enveloping enclosures that reveal the transformative pliability of plastics. The artist is also questioning the way in which humans and animals live alongside these materials; in relationships which are increasingly fraught with dangerous ambiguities.
Sally Rees works across time-based, static, live and hybrid art forms. She endorses the idea of the art object as a sigil or magickally charged symbol. The artist works with record-based media with hand-wrought intervention to produce works that operate both internally and externally, aspiring to a kind of therapy, clairvoyance or magick. The works operate as agents for social/ cultural/ political/ personal change.For this exhibition Rees has created I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. (Wands for the public to communicate their will to Government). Rees considers that the action of spell-casting can give personal insight and act as a powerful deployment of agency; particularly useful in a frustrating political climate where democratic process feels broken and ineffective.