CCAS is nothing if not on the money when it comes to the trends and topics of the time. Thats right, we are the masters of zeitgeist. So if it seems a bit obvious, there was no choice for the theme of the 2017 Member's Exhibition other than Fake News,. Everyone knows what we are talking about even if they are not sure exactly what it is. Is it a lie or just something Donald Trump dreamed up to describe whatever he doesn't agree with? Its overworked, overbaked, overwrought and a big fat cliche. Fake news is synonymous with endless politicians diatribes laced with lies, deception and duplicity. This exhibition calls upon artists with overactive imaginations to shed some light on the fake phenomenon (or the phenomenon of fake) and as one might expect there are some hilarious takes. Hugely hilarious. It will be extremely difficult for the fabulous Gordon Bull (Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Art History and Art Theory at the ANU School of Art & Design) to pick a winner from such a vast array of out there ideations but he is a trooper and he will succeed before the audience arrives on Friday evening. There will be prizes of $500, $250 and a bottle of reasonable champagne for first, second and highly commended. If you want your cake and to eat it, a fun outing and a laugh Fake News is the show for you. Remember its only on for one night and a day and that is Friday and Saturday. Opening Friday 8 September at 6.00pm. The winning works will be announced at 6.30pm.
In an age that increasingly exists online and in virtual spaces, Ex Machina invites viewers to consider the role of the physical machine as artwork, only truly experienced in the flesh. Ex Machina explores contemporary Australian kinetic artwork, and how machines are not only a tool, but artworks in their own right.
Featuring works by Nicci Haynes, Brian McNamara, Stelarc, Pia Van Gelder and Arthur Wicks
Image: Stelarc, still from Body on robot arm, 2015; image courtesy of the artist
HYPERactive was conceived in a miasma of unreality. Words seemed inadequate to describe works that sounded implausible, if not absurd. Artists imagined the unimaginable; the devil as t.v presenter, a plague of rabbits on the lounge room carpet, a picturesque Austrian tourist attraction in China, a Victorian séance generator, leaping salmon against a paint by numbers waterfall, possum skin cloaks made from Elmo pelts and paintings that reflect a sense of imminent global annihilation. As elements of Ripley’s Believe it or Not emerged and took hold, a dark cloud gathered over this hypothetical exhibition. The ‘devil’ occupies all of these works.
Featuring works by Bianca Beetson, Claudia Chaseling, Richard Grayson, Jay Kochel, Catherine Laudenbach, Rebecca Selleck and Jay Younger
Image: Rebecca Selleck, Lapin Fam, 2016, Found rabbit skin coats, found rug, planetary motors, heat conductive wiring, electrics, steel, stainless steel, polyester, synthetic stuffing, 135 x 300 x 200cm (approximately); courtesy of the artist
Richard Grayson is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and Yuill Crowley, Sydney
Claudia Chaseling is represented by Yuill Crowley, Sydney and thanks Australian National University and artsACT for their support
Me Time - curated by Sabrina Baker
Featuring Tully Arnot, Grace K Blake, Benjamin Forster, Claudia Greathead, Anna May Kirk, Janis Lejins, Claudia Nicholson and Giselle Stanborough, Me Time explores increasing integration between life, art and technology. Posting everyday moments to Facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat and plenty more social media platforms are now second nature and our phones just an extension of our arms the boundaries between our digital lives and our physical ones are increasingly blurred. Me Time focuses on the absurdity of living one’s life from app to app incorporating everything from lifestyle and wellness to relationships and dating apps. With artworks printing Justin Bieber tweets and website interventions to painted portraits from Tinder profiles and selfie sticks, Me Time brings together artists and technology thinking about digital culture and how it’s influencing life in the 21st century.
Image: Anna May Kirk, Alice (Human Unit), 2017, 3 selfie sticks, 3 iphones, 3 channel video, voice to text generator, lyrics from The Police 'Every Breath You Take'; courtesy of the artist
Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s annual emerging art exhibition, Blaze, is one of the local art community’s most anticipated events. Held in CCAS’s flagship space at Gorman House, the exhibition showcases Canberra based artists at the outset of their careers. This year’s edition, BLAZE XI, features the work of seven new contemporary artists working across video, painting, sculpture, installation and performance art practices. Like the previous ten instalments, BLAZE XI includes ambitious and challenging works – it is a celebration of the here and now, the up and coming. While no grand theme was intended for this survey, the collected works of Tom Buckland, Alex Hobba, Kon Kudo, Alycia Moffat, Cat Mueller, Josh Owen & The Uberigine, do offer an opportunity for reflection. Particularly, I think, BLAZE XI asks two relatively simple questions with potentially complicated answers:
how did we get here?
where are we going to next?
Image: Josh Owen, 4 States (detail), High Definition video with sound; 10'30". Courtesy of the artist
Currents is an interactive, physical map of the global network of undersea cables that carry the communication signals of the Internet. It challenges how we conceptualise the Internet as a 'wireless' technology rather than a physical infrastructure. Remapping a communication system normally regarded as invisible highlights the evocative fragility of a world physically connected by cables.
Viewers are invited to interact with the work through an analogue switchboard that illuminates specific pathways around the world. This interaction reminds us of the materiality of the Internet, where digital communication is entangled, chaotic, and subject to disruptions of the natural world.
The artist would like to acknowledge for their technical support; Daniel Hovenden and Keytie. This work was made for SafARI 2016
The artist would also like to thank ArtsACT for their support through project funding for this exhibition.
Image: Anna Madeleine, Submarine Cable Map, 2016, EL wire and electronic components, approx. 200 x 400 cm. Installation view, Kudos Gallery for SafARI 2016, Sydney. Photograph: Document Photography
The interface between Marie Hagerty’s paintings and their points of reception resists description. Hagerty’s work, more than most, is to be experienced in a zone of silence where the viewer is quite simply hypnotised by laminate constructs of exhilarating fluidity. Reminiscent of Modigliani’s voluptuousness stripped of figurative connotation, her luxurious overlay of form and virtuoso use of colour is paradoxically best described as sculptural, and calls to mind the organic abstraction of Jean Arp. Separated tonally by line and colour, floating in, around and over each other, her merging and elegantly parting shapes are like the translucent liquids of a lava lamp as they begin to warm and perform. The epitome of lyricism, Hagerty’s paintings express the artist’s vision and imagination through the sublime beauty of harmonious form.
There are two overlapping streams in Hagerty’s ouvre and the other is connected to constructivism with narrative tones and oblique architectural quotation from the curvaceous structures of modernist architects such as Harry Seidler and Oscar Niemeyer. In Hagerty’s recent (2015) plane girls series for instance, she conjugates female form and the machinery of flight in a feminist take on the mythology of ‘man and machine’: as if to ask were women independent of machinery? In these often smaller, succinct, sometimes three-dimensional works, she modernises Alexander Rodchenko’s characteristic styles to fashion revolutionary statements for the 21st century.
Image: Marie Hagerty, Ubu 2, 2015, oil on canvas, 157 x 274 cm diptych; courtesy of the artist
Tony Curran combines digital data-mining processes with the traditional practice of life-drawing and painting to test the boundaries between abstract and figural drawing and painting. The resulting works sit strangely between an abstract expressionist aesthetic and a post-digital graphic language.
Almost illegible presents recent oil paintings, drawings and videos that combine the aesthetics of the human made with machine-oriented production. The artist capitalises on two distinct visual clichés, the “human touch” of gestural abstraction and the “computational” aesthetics of colourful, hard-edged forms. Combining humanist and technocratic visual languages results in a visual paradox from the ideological incompatibility between the technological - a force of military and corporate interests, and the humanists’ ideals of individual liberty.
The traditional academic practice of life drawing acts as a foil for a techno-humanist paradox. By drawing on touch-screen devices, the artist records and stores a history of drawn gestures that are then retrieved in new combinations to produce fresh compositions. Through multiple sittings with individuals, the drawings build a database of gestural information about the people under observation, like an impotent form of big-data surveillance. The gestures are then recombined into cacophonies of colour and shape, removed from their proper anatomical context. Although they’re read as signifiers of human form they become almost illegible.
Image: Dr Doris McIlwain (Ouroboric #3), 2015. Oil on linen 113.5 x 83.5cm. courtesy of the artist
Ci-Lines continue Vue’s reinterpretations of Hmong textile designs and written languages through two and three dimensional line making across surfaces and spaces using industrial materials and processes. These are contextualised within the gallery space along with video and rave culture, allowing for a psychedelic sensory experience which blurs the line between the here and there, the exposed and the hidden, the confined and the liberated.
Image and statement courtesy of the artist
HIGH RISE LOW RISE
Curated by David Broker and Rebecca Ross
Anna Carey, Claudia de Salvo, Anja Loughhead, Monique Montfroy, Millan Pintos-Lopez and Kael Stasce
Essay and exchange by Chris Bennie
High Rise Low Rise is a contemporary art Contiki Tour; artworks packed in suitcases, curators on flights to far flung locales and artists emerging from airport terminals to the sea air of the Gold Coast. It is a touring exhibition of artists from Canberra and the Gold Coast whose disparate practices share regional connections, architectural references and touristic motifs. The exhibition focuses on the opportunity for exchange and highlights the importance of regional connectivity between art spaces, places and artists.
High Rise Low Rise emerged from Rebecca Ross’ [Artistic Director,The Walls] mentorship with David Broker [Director, Canberra Contemporary Art Space]. During conversation and research, in both Miami and Canberra, David and Rebecca identified some uncanny similarities between Canberra and the Gold Coast and then set out to explore their differences, connectivity, and the architecture of these purpose built regional cities, each inviting 3 local artists to exhibit in both Canberra and the Gold Coast.
Canberra Artists: Kael Stace, Millan Pintos-Lopez and Anja Loughead
Gold Coast Artists: Claudia De Salvo, Monique Montfroy and Anna Carey
Image: Anja Loughhead, Where the bloody hell are you?, 2016, tea towels and fabric, dimensions variable