Within the immersive installation, The Barbed Maze, Denise Higgins and Gary Smith coerce their audience into journey mode; herded and displaced in their movements through the space. Suspended barbed wire panels and mirrors create chambered areas that play with issues of confinement, interrogation and surveillance. In traversing the maze, dust motes coalesce into anatomies; disassociated voice snippets bounce across air pockets; a ruffle of space hints at being tracked. Which path will you take? Who can you turn to? Is there any chance of refuge?
The Barbed Maze, 2015, mixed media installation; dimensions variable. Photograph by Rob Little RLDI
Liam O’Brien’s standalone video works were never intended to be shown as components of a broad conceptual grouping, however, his CCAS exhibition has provided an opportunity to increase their characteristic angst threefold. The selection of I'm Too Drunk To Tell You (2011), Untitled (Clean Skin) (2012) and Whistling in the Dark (2013) not only covers three years of performance but also focus on three different body parts, head, hands and feet. They represent a body of work that is touched by irrational hand of Absurdism and neo avant-garde conceptual performance of the 1960/70s in which the human body became a medium for artistic enquiry. Sound tracks from each work, while varying in intensity, generate a disquieting soundscape that heightens O’Brien’s all encompassing sense of existential malaise.
Liam O'Brien I'm Too Drunk To Tell You (2011) video still, HD single channel video, 10 minutes, edition 14.
Whistling in the Dark (2013) commissioned for Performutations, an Artbank video series curated by Dr Daniel Mudie; photography by Brenton McGeachie Cunningham
"The means are quite minimal, but the intention is far from minimalist, for the subject is the night sky seen away from towns and cities where ambient light dims the stars. But these paintings are not astronomers observational maps of the heavens nor astrological charts with fixed galaxies and stars arranged into the signs of the zodiac and wandering planets connecting the destinies of individuals to the celestial order. These works are the response of the artist to the spectacular show of the Australian night sky experienced on trips across the centre of the continent. This is what it feels like to lie on the ground and look up and out."
From catalogue essay by Graham Eadie.
Image: Frank Thirion, installation view, 2008.
Image: Cole Bennets, installation detail, 2008.
Poetry on the Move is a three-year poetry project hosted by the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) based within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR), Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.
As we reach the mid-point of our festival, we move to the Contemporary Art Space at Gorman House in Braddon. Festival poet in residence, Philip Gross, is joined by Diane Fahey, from Clifton Springs, Victoria, and Adrian Caesar and Lesley Lebkowicz, both from Canberra. Make sure you're at the gallery by 2pm for a wonderful afternoon of poetry.
Full festival program and booking information available at:www.ipsi.org.au
Melt is the solo project of Canberra musician Jordan Rodger (Wives, Cinnamon Records). Theta Waves sees Rodger collaborating with a cast of Canberra's most vital musicians. A hazy journey through many realms of punk, post punk and experimental sounds.
This years members' show celebrates the return of Back to the Future's Marty McFy to the present with a show devoted to time travel. So its time to get those time related masterpieces out from under the bed and bring them into CCAS by 5 pm on Friday 14 August. The annual member's show is a great opportunity for members to strut their stuff for a couple of days in the Gorman Art Centre Galleries and strut they do. CCAS is always looking for new talent and this is where we find Canberra's most creative and innovative minds. Always a great night - the opening and prize giving ceremony is Friday 21 August at 6pm.
Image: Peter Mckay, installation detail, 2008.
Jones' exhibition, titled Lookin Up, explores ideas of how certain gendered and raced bodies are socialised to look up to masculine heroes, idols and role models. In examining which identities were privileged in her memories of growing up as a young girl, Jones moves from the personal effects to the wider implications of why specific figures were present in the position of role models or aspirational figures.
From essay by Dr. Odette Kelada.
Image: Dianne Jones, Ye Must Be Born Again John 3:7, 2008.
"In Bailey’s work, it’s okay to feel a little lost. These non-sequiturs are set in unsteady terrains. In the video work Desert Mouth (2009) Bailey himself is stoned and lost in the desert. He stumbles around in only a t-shirt adorned with a marijuana leaf and sneakers: ruder than nude. Lost and confused. The work could be construed as a portrait of a resident of post-heroic society. He is intoxicated by the reiteration of slogans, mottos, headlines, mantras, buzz words, jingoistic catch phrases and epithets. He hides in a haze of escape and intemperance. Like the portrait jamais vu."
Image: Stuart Bailey, installation detail, 2008.