It is easy to think of printmaking as an “old-school” art medium. One that was considered state of the art technology in the Middle Ages because of its capabilities to produce thousands of identical images from a single matrix. But this technology is archaic compared to what is possible with the internet and our mac book pros and ipads today. The print is often considered conservative and out of fashion. Many contemporary artists instead choose to work in more ‘so-called’ exciting mediums such as found materials or installation. Joel Gailer, however, shows us that this common conception is wrong. Gailer roams from medium to medium but his works focus on printmaking and how it is the most appropriate and effective medium to discuss the contemporary world.
Unique State features prints on the floor. Yes, I know what you are thinking. How can precious prints be left on the floor? But Gailer is not your conventional artist and his works are by no means conventional pieces of art. For the month of August he has printed his artwork in Canberra-based magazine Art Monthly, copies of which will sprawl the gallery floor. By doing this Gailer is reinvigorating the print medium and showing us how in reality printmaking is everywhere. Gailer returns printmaking to its democratic roots. He reminds us that in today’s manufactured society print technologies produce anything that is a multiple. A car, for example, is just another printed state in an edition. By bringing his artworks into the popular realm he not only challenges our ideas about printmaking, but also our ideas about art. You may ask, how is this work in Art Monthly ‘fine-art’ if anyone can own it? By blurring these boundaries Gailer challenges us. What is art really? It’s up to you to decide.
Joel Gailer would like to thank ART MONTHLY AUSTRALIA