GEORGE PATON GALLERY SECOND SEMESTER PROGRAM
Small Rooms is a new collaborative project for the George Patton Gallery by Louis Klee, Jack Palmer and Eitan Ritz.
The work is a raw exposé of the body as process: its potential for thought, action, and movement; its capacity for proprioception and interoception; its situatedness within both an abstract space and a historically contingent landscape.
Taking our cues from the body itself, the impetus of our practice are those intuitions that arise from simply being together. We are excited by the spontaneous, haphazard, and ludic. Small Rooms, then, not only candidly captures a moment in time in our collaboration but playfully invites the viewer to take part.
Jack Palmer is a Melbourne-based artist, musician, and composer. His work seeks to act as a bridge to hidden psychological and visceral states. Louis Klee is a writer, essayist, and poet. His poem ‘Sentence to Lilacs’ co-won the Peter Porter Prize in 2017. Eitan Ritz is an artist interested in the body as a site of congealment. He has exhibited work recently at c3 Gallery in Abbotsford and undertaken a residency at the EWMN Centre in Israel.
IMAGE: Louis Klee, Jack Palmer and Eitan Ritz, Small Rooms. Digital image, 2018
“Exhibit the goods and people will want to buy the rest of the product.”
Using our body parts as our own personal propaganda? As testaments to our courage under pain? As proclamations of power? This group exhibition deals with ideas surrounding Identity and that Strong (TM) branded version of ourselves that we feel we have to present to the world or the art world in order to hustle (make money) or get a name for ourselves. We have to flex our muscles to get anywhere or anything, to prove our pain, to promise our power. We have to compete and muscle our way in, bumping others out of the way to get to the top. Capitalism has generated a society where people brand themselves as a commodity. But does this branding of ourselves as strong, as powerful, alienate people (and ourselves) through it’s artifice?
The subject of this group exhibition is about the individual artist’s attempt to succeed within capitalism’s stronghold. The question here is not how to use it, but rather how it uses us. Western Culture’s newfound love for all things design sees our experiences, sensations and desires turned into commercial products. Biennial culture, luxury business sponsorship, and the amalgamation of fashion and contemporary art has turned art into a kind of entertainment. What is sold advertised and distributed in the marketplace is now branding itself. That is, artists are no longer required to be creators or designers, but essentially CEOs of their own personal brand.
The commodity then, is not the art, but the artist. This is the environment, political, social, economical that contextualises MU$CLE. Bringing together a varied cohort of artists at different stages in their arts practice, MU$CLE invites the viewer to consider the relationship between contemporary art, contemporary life and capitalism.
IMAGE: Phil Solomon, Belly Dancer, 2007. Still from multi media performance
Inspired by aesthetics and mythology of Eastern Europe, the series portrays queer/trans women/non-binary persons of the Melbourne music and art scene.
Stepanka Cervinkova, Lara. Photographic print, 2017
Grey Voices interrogates feminism’s inclusivity, expanding its dialogue into culturally diverse contexts. The exhibition investigates the overlap of cultural backgrounds and personal experiences shaping female identity through explorations of social connotations accompanying language and women’s movement within their respective cultural contexts.
Yesol Ma, If you know how to sit like a polite Korean Woman. Video still, 2018
‘Everyday Utopia’ is an exhibition that reveals the ways in which artists enact conventional activities in unusual ways, to actualize alternative models to mainstream social and political practices. The exhibition maps the paradoxical contours of ‘everyday’ and ‘utopia’ to reveal the subversive potentials anchored in the local, domestic, personal and right-now.
Tita Salina & Irwan Ahmett, Jakarta Stories – 1001st island. Video still, 2015-2016
Executed between 1989 and 1992 in Melbourne, Edinburgh and Italy, vas spirituel / a melisima by Marc-Antoine Charpentier is a large artwork divided into eighteen sections. Never previously exhibited in its entirety, the work’s structure is informed by the memory theatre of the late Renaissance, as well as early Baroque musical
Two items on loan from Edinburgh Public Library to the artist since 1989. Digital image, 2018
PAST EXHIBITIONS SEMESTER 2 2018
An exhibition in Four Acts is a program that offers students from Honours in the School of Art at The Victorian College of the Arts, the opportunity to partner with students from The Curatorship Program at the School of Culture and Communication. Each Act presents one of four curatorial projects being exhibited at the VCA Artspace and the George Paton Gallery. An exhibition in Four Acts will be developed through studio visits, a curatorial workshop, and a mentorship process that underpins the evolution of each Acts’ final outcome. This program is supported by ACP Projects, Arts Programs UMSU and The University of Melbourne.
Click PDF below to see the first set of documentation from Act 4.
Meeting Place visualises human interaction with congregational space. These spaces are identified as ones in which people come together in order to address their needs, vulnerabilities or desires. Whether in the form of church, community centre, hospital – these spaces provide a service to those who seek them.
Taking the form of a series of interrelated in-situ light sculptures; this exhibition forms connections to a selection of congregational spaces. These connections are established through form and time. Each sculpture is formed in the shape and scale of a window that exists in the congregational space to which it is linked. These forms are moulded into the walls of the gallery so as to appear native to their physical location. Each window becomes illuminated at times in which its represented space is active.
Meeting Place forms a site from which empathetic connections may be blindly established. In doing so, the function of its own space is called into question.
Michael Sandford, Meeting Place. Digital image, 2018
Nothing Ends or Begins brings into focus man’s position within the climate crisis. Through the work of four Melbourne-based artists; Marcelle Bradbeer, Jade Crumpler, Genevieve Douglas-Byrnes and Caitlin O’Grady, the exhibition invites contemplation upon the kind of relationship one can have with nature. Each artist’s work speaks in its own way of the inextricable relationship between people and nature, and subsequently alludes to the personal repercussions of exploiting this connection.
The stylistic and material scope of Nothing Ends or Begins, which includes video, photography, sculpture and installation breaks down the conceptual barriers between the ‘natural’ and the ‘man-made’. Marcelle’s photographic series, Natural Contours represents visual synergies between the forms of the environment and the body. Whilst the sculptural works of Caitlin O’Grady explore the external and internal makeup of humanity by virtue of revealing the composition of nature. The parameters of compositional connection are unfettered in Genevieve’s video work Fractal 1.1, as well as her sculpture Subtract that demonstrates the bodies existence within the cycle of life at large.
The references to nature’s universal perseverance are in dialogue with several works that illustrate the ramifications of abusing the environment that gives us life. Jade Crumpler’s sculptures juxtapose artificial against organic materials to exemplify the contamination of once pristine oceans. Similarly, Marcelle’s photographs of toxic objects in nature brings the viewer face to face with the waste we thought no longer affected us. The message that the fate of nature is not discrete from our own, renders the implications of this damage as ultimately self-destructive.
PANEL DISCUSSION, TUESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2-3PM GEORGE PATON GALLERY
Art, advocacy and awareness as agents of change
With panelists: Marcelle Bradbeer, participating artist in Nothing Ends or Begins; Ellie Michaelides, Science Engagement Coordinator, the Science Gallery Melbourne and Communications Manager, Remember The Wild.
Image: Marcelle Bradbeer, Tyre on Pink Lake. Archival Inkjet print, 2016