Writing

Sally Molloy: Memorial To All The Animals We’ve Ever Had To Kill

Dog Day Afternoon

I spent a mid-July weekend skirting around Sally Molloy’s show Memorial To All The Animals We’ve Ever Had To Kill. For two days Molloy took up residence in the back of a two-tonne truck, parked alongside Davies Park in West End, doors open, welcoming viewers inside. The truck is the physical gallery run by Clutch Collective ARI; the fixed but transient space cracks open the possibility of what an exhibition space can do. It feels perfect for Molloy’s show, a transformative and rolling collaboration.

The back of the truck was walled roughly with old cardboard packing boxes; at the end of the space was a cubby fashioned from a discarded fridge box, painted bright green and patterned with different animals. Replete with a cardboard grille, this was the confessional box that held Molloy on the ground inside. Viewers were invited to sit on the other side and confess their tales of animal murder; as they did she painted their story, an offering that was pinned on the truck’s walls.

Molloy’s interdisciplinary painting practice investigates the Australian landscape and examines colonial histories. A departure from her current research as a PhD candidate at Queensland College of Art, Molloy’s investigation of the theme of ‘misadventure on the land’ is what connects this show to her larger practice. The concurrent expressions of death, humour, and care sum up the show’s strengths: it was tongue in cheek and earnestly respectful at the same time.

The small acrylic paintings Molloy produced on the same crude cardboard as the walls were roughly the size of a coaster. They were tender and affecting in their naivety. Dynamic in colour, they were compositionally distinct and engaging. Many acted as vignettes for the viewer to decode. One painting, for instance, enigmatically revealed a fish bowl, with a clawed hand dipping into it. The face connected to the hand was truncated, but we can see a collared body. The cat’s defiant personality is suggested from the way the hand hangs with casual boldness. Some paintings were simple icons – a dog hovering in space on a white background. It was these paintings of dogs that punctured me. I visited the show on Sunday afternoon for the event publicised as a ‘memorial viewing'; Molloy was still taking confessions. I wrestled with confessing, but was somewhat relieved with the sinking sun, and the truck began being packed up. I was crushed with guilt over the accidental death of a beloved dog I lived with. Some participatory shows can impact just as effectively when we choose not to participate; the reason behind our decision lingers. I thought about my dog all night. I woke up the next morning with the show still on my mind to read a text message from my ex, sent just before midnight on that Sunday. I had forgotten, at least consciously, that the 16th of July was the anniversary of our dog’s death.

The spectrum of fauna depicted in the paintings revealed the audience’s desire for this kind of participation. We saw steak on a plate; swarms of mosquitos; ants crawling up a bed post. The range of movement between play and grief was bridged perfectly by the show’s essay, written by Molloy. It was her confession, simultaneously cool and warm; a lyrical and eloquent retelling of her experience of finishing off a ringtail joey that her dog had leapt on. Molloy is the ultimate absolver, riffing on tropes we know so well with a smile and genuine, complete care for our vulnerability.

The ephemeral nature of the paintings produced throughout the show, and the site of their construction, belie the reverberation of the show’s affect. I posted a selection of paintings that struck me on Instagram. One was an image of a dog; black and white and grinning against greenery and a blue sky. It almost looked like it was going off a cliff –  transitioning somewhere, happily.  A week later, a friend told me that painting was of her dog who had very recently been put down. My friend was moved by Molloy’s tender offering of forgiveness; creating a painting to hold the burden of guilt so that participants can let it go. I’m left with an image of Molly as high priestess, on the ground, in her cardboard church, intuitively giving, and taking, embodying the quiet power of art that is both collaboratory and self-reflective.

Written by Felicity Scarce

Written for the exhibition by Sally Molloy, Memorial To All The Animals We’ve Ever Had To Kill at Clutch Collective: Riverside Drive, West End, Brisbane (15-16 July 2017).

Oh, the Conceptual Places You’ll Go: The Spatial Paintings of Paul Bai

Alongside commercial and public galleries, as well as artworks commissioned for public places, unconventional exhibition spaces are part and parcel of Brisbane’s visual arts community. Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) exhibit out of dilapidated Queenslanders, the back of trucks, underneath houses, and give impromptu performances in public spaces.

Approaching the Spring Hill house of Dirk Yates and Ellie Buttrose was not to be looking for the latest instalment in Brisbane’s ARI landscape, but for an exhibition of six paintings by local artist Paul Bai from his Between Me and the World series.[1] The works are all pre-existing, and were not commissioned for the show.

Though an expected one, I arrive at the home a stranger. Unlike ARIs and larger institutions, I need to be invited into the house in order to see the works. I become more conscious of myself, entering as a guest into the space of someone’s home.

And it is not a space that has been repurposed for art hanging. Bai’s works are hung around the home’s pre-existing features. Nothing was moved to make way for them. This reinvigorating of the relationship between art object, viewer, and exhibition space is a crucial methodology for critiquing Bai’s show.

The six works are all monochromes. A frame, which does not match the dimensions of the canvas, is laid across the middle of each monochrome and overlaps its left and right edges. The artist labels these works “spatial paintings.”[2] They are neither strictly sculptural nor painterly, and they explicitly interrogate ideas of conceptual and physical space. Such spatial considerations are amplified by the unorthodox space of the home, for this is solely a home and not an art gallery (and not home as ARI or commercial enterprise).

These works are physical exemplars of Bai’s concept of the Third Spatial Position.[3] This position works between the dichotomised poles of physical and conceptual space. It critiques this binary and its values, but does not seek to replace either of its terms. Indeterminacy is a key descriptor of the Position, the indeterminacy that defines being outside concrete physical or conceptual spatialities.[4] Yet, this exploration of indeterminacy yields certain values.

In existing between or beside these spatial poles, this position pinpoints the fundamental split between them which the viewer enacts. There is a gap, defined by an indiscernible action, which separates a physical object from its representation through language or its conceptual space (for example the perceived three-dimensionality of a flat painting as being separate from its actual two-dimensionality). This gap, this indiscernible tear or tentative rupture, also unifies these two poles, as both are distinct yet nevertheless interdependent. That is, a viewer perceives then appraises the apparent physical properties of an artwork while also forming, through language, a conceptual explanation of what they perceive and how they perceive it.

Hence, a unifying gap defines the Third Position’s indeterminate spatiality. There is an indiscernible action-as-lacuna that exists outside and in relation to conceptual and physical space. The spatial paintings allow the audience to understand how they rely on this act to divorce three spatialities from one other: the paintings’ own dual conceptual and physical spaces and the domestic reality of the home. The division between each is indeterminate yet visible. And the home of Yates and Buttrose is itself a third position, an ideal in-between setting for considering the strangeness of space.

The first work the viewer encounters upon being invited into this home is Between Me and The World (Without Leonard Cohen), 2016, which is situated on the left wall of the entrance hallway. Leonard Cohen serves as a general introduction to the exhibited works, though crucial developments occur in how the remaining monochromes interact with space or reinterpret the following visual qualities.

Leonard Cohen is a canvas of dark blue paint with an identically coloured frame laid across its middle section. The artist’s brushstrokes are visible along the monochrome’s uppermost horizontal segment and make visible the underlying white canvas, and this also recurs along sections of the frame. The blue paint halts when the frame’s two horizontal edges cross into empty space on the work’s left-hand side. The unadorned wood of the frame is here visible.

The dark blue acts as a seamless unifier of canvas and frame, as its application means there is no visible break between the two physical objects. The paint joins one with the other, physically extending the surface of the monochrome beyond its customary flatness.

The gaps between the frame and the canvas on the work’s left and right sides border small portions of space that are external to the painting. Other parts of the frame sit within the borders of the monochrome. The frame no longer concisely demarcates the beginning and ending of the work. It does not surround the monochrome but neither does the work wholly surround the frame. Combined with the layering of frame over canvas, this means the physical beginnings and endings of Leonard Cohen cannot be neatly defined. Exterior, domestic space is invited into the realm of the spatial painting, and begins to be absorbed by the artwork’s internal aesthetic logic. The physical work is evident and visible, but its corresponding conceptual space is not. Leonard Cohen’s separation from the world is uncertain.

The work problematizes the distinction between its interior spatial duality and the space of the home, inviting this latter, real space into its orbit (as opposed to a gallery’s white sterility which neatly separates the work from the world). Yet, the home does not fully contextualise the artwork as its inhabitants’ actions, for example the personal routines of Yates and Buttrose, do not directly relate to the work. Neither do the works directly impact such actions. So, while Leonard Cohen is contextualised by this space, engages with the space of the home through its semi-bordered intrusions, this is only ever a semi-contextualisation. The work exists in the space without being completely reconciled with it.

Leonard Cohen instigates this critique by repurposing the frame, that which the viewer usually relies on to make clear this separation. The frame is no longer a neutral barrier between the work and the world, but is indeterminate, tentative, and volatile. The space of the home enters into and breaks apart the physical and conceptual spaces of the artwork because it points to a space beyond that which includes the artwork. But all three are never fully constructed, deconstructed, or determinate within the orbit of the artwork. The unifying gap’s indeterminacy appears in the way the work never fully separates itself from the surrounding world, yet the viewer perceives it as ostensibly different.

Additionally, the pre-conditional spaces of the blank canvas and the unadorned frame, the work’s physical foundations, are presented as conditions of the complete artwork. They sit alongside the unbroken blue monochrome and its conjoined frame as deliberate additions to the spatial paintings. The unadorned pre-space which precedes the work’s blue space is seen as nonetheless being a part of the final work. Although mostly invisible underneath the monochrome, this preceding space is nevertheless there, present beneath the work’s more “complete” blue spaces.

That is, there was no a priori physical object before the application of paint made the work into a subjectified object with a conceptual space. Similarly, a physical space which exists before the conceptual and analytical power of language cannot be accessed by the human subject. Leonard Cohen’s a priori space is always part of the work’s final physical and conceptual form. The physical pre-space is a conceptual component of the work at all times, and this is physically revealed by Bai’s incomplete brushstrokes and sections of unadorned frame. The unifying gap is here visualised as the simultaneous difference and non-difference between the work’s before and after: its material preconditions and final (conceptual) manifestation.

The work most visible after moving on from Leonard Cohen’s visual introduction is Between Me and the World (No. 16), 2016. The spatial painting sits opposite the entrance hallway, and partially covers a doorway and an additional opening which joins the kitchen to the dining room. It is a yellow monochrome with a thin strip of blank canvas along its bottom edge. Similar to Leonard Cohen, the frame’s two horizontals are painted to the edges of the monochrome’s left and right sides. Bai’ brushstrokes are also visible throughout the work.

What sets No. 16 apart from Leonard Cohen is its situational qualities. The former’s placement in the opening between two rooms means its anterior and part of its posterior are visible for visual analysis. Any appraisal of No. 16 relies on the transitory movement of the viewer. As with a sculpture, the subject needs to move to the back of the work in order to critique it completely.

But such a back-and-forth movement is identical to the routine movement of someone from the kitchen to the dining room or vice versa. That is, the movement of the viewer from the front to the back of the work does not differentiate itself from other domestic movements in the home’s space (even if the subject’s focus differs).

The action which reveals the unique physical properties of the work does not exist as its own unique movement. This fuses the beholding of the work with the ignoring of the work, the latter tied to the personal movements of Yates and Buttrose. Hence, the split which separates these two actions is indeterminate. This means that the work, its physical appreciation by the human subject, is defined by an indiscernible conceptual gap which separates two identical physical actions.

The other monochrome which is eminently visible after exiting the entrance hallway is Between Me and the World, No. 18, 2016. The red sculptural painting is situated in a corner of the lounge room. The surface of the monochrome is here further reduced as its right and bottom border are sections of bare canvas which form a flipped “L.” The frame’s red painted section also forms an “L,” but this shape is rotated ninety degrees clockwise from its corresponding position on the canvas.

The bottom edge of the frame and canvas sit on metal supports which are attached to the rear wall. There is a further eroding of the demarcation between the work and its domestic surrounds. This deliberately relaxed presentation, the languid lean of the work against the wall, mimics the similarly relaxed aesthetic of the home. A pile of books sits on a nearby stool in an irregular pile, and No. 18 does not seem to be held in a higher regard than such objects.

Another outcome of the work’s languid lean is that the canvas and frame are no longer physically fused as they were in the previous two works. This emphasises that within the exhibition the canvas and frame are a conjoined conceptual entity (tentatively extending the surface of the monochrome), while they are also two separate physical objects.

With their similar shapes layered over one another, the frame and canvas would represent a lacuna and its filling in. Though, as the size of the canvas dwarfs that of the frame’s this would only be conceptually possible through an imaginative projection. Hence, the work refuses to physically fill-itself-in, yet simultaneously alludes to this very possibility through a conceptual hypothesis. No. 18 therefore pinpoints the unifying gap that each of the works relies on: the way physical and conceptual space are mutually interdependent yet always divergent.

Between Me and the World (No. 3), 2015, is partially hidden from the viewer when they exit the entrance hallway, sitting on the upper landing of a set of stairs immediately to the viewer’s right. A dark blue monochrome which verges on black, its frame again lies across its middle section.

No. 3 sits in an in-between physical space. Caught between the home’s upstairs and downstairs, it is part of neither. From the top and bottom floor, it is not entirely viewable. To gain a better vantage point, the viewer must traverse the stairs and stand at various points on one of its two sets, or come into close proximity with the spatial painting on the landing itself. The work’s surrounds never yield an ideal appraisal position, and the viewer is subject to the way the home’s architecture frames the work. The gap between the work and the world vanishes as the world does not allow for the work to be seen.

The artwork is physically separate from the world, yet is conceptually subsumed to the home’s space (though this is of course only ever partial). The home physically frames the work and alters how it can be approached by the viewing subject. Both the home and the work exist simultaneously, and their respective beginning and end are reliant on a physical and conceptual border that is never precisely demarcated. The unifying gap here appears in the way the home begins to shape No. 3 while always remaining external and actively different to the work itself.

Opposite the entrance hallway is another hallway which leads to the home’s posterior and back garden. In this narrow space is Between Me and the World (No. 1), 2015. A black monochrome, the work is constructed like Leonard Cohen. Here though, there is the slight extending of the left and right sides of the frame, meaning they encapsulate more of the surrounding domestic space.

Simultaneously, the work is situated in a narrow hallway which does not yield an easy appraisal position (like No. 3’s placement). The viewer and the work are brought into close proximity with one another. The former is pushed into a hat rack at their rear, and is brought closer to the work just as the work seeks to resist this intimacy and extend beyond this small space. That is, the larger frame attempts to move the work further out into the home, and creates this conceptual effect in comparison to the other works in the exhibition. But this comparative extension is denied by the claustrophobic installation of the work. No. 1 invites a reading of expanded conceptual space while being physically confined in domestic space, and the unifying gap appears as the binder of the two halves of this contradiction.

The final work in the exhibition is the most isolated. Between Me and the World (No. 7), 2015, is situated at the back of the home in the bathroom, completely out of sight of the other spatial paintings. It is placed over a long, rectangular window. No. 7 covers the vertical distance of the window and its frame, and is situated at this opening’s left end.

The height of the spatial painting’s frame means it almost perfectly sits within the lacuna of the receding window. No. 7 sinks into this space, absorbed into its retreating dimensions. But the work only just begins to be sucked into this recession. The uncompromising black of the canvas and the black components of frame are obdurately separate from the window, immovable and isolated in their own void-like nature.

The pre-space of the work, its unadorned frame, is that which begins to be absorbed by the domestic space. The unifying gap separates these two conceptual spaces, but Bai equates their visual value by allowing for the bare frame to be sucked into this surrounding space via the recessional window. The homely space of the viewer becomes the underlying foundation of the painting, and vice versa, as the conceptual gap between both is made indeterminate.

Inadvertently, the works have acted as our guide through the house. They invite you into separate rooms, link rooms together, and curate the space of the home and the subject’s journey through it. You begin to know this homely space and your own place within it better. The cold, arch-modernist monochrome becomes a sort of housewarming device, conceptually allowing the viewer into the home through a tour of the built environment. Just as the works are never fully resolved with their surrounds, the viewer moves into a similarly in-between space. They are no longer really a stranger in in the home, but a somewhat more acquainted part of it. There is an indiscernible turning point which defines the transformation of the subject’s place within the Yates and Buttrose home (as there is in the experience of any new space), from one of strangeness to feeling at home

Written by Simon Brigden

[1] The exhibition ran from the 17th December 2016 – 4th February 2017.

[2] Many thanks to Paul Bai, Dirk Yates, and Kim Machan for their time and energies in discussing the exhibition with me in person and via email.

[3] Paul Bai, “A Brief Introduction to the Concept of Third Spatial Position,” in LANDSEASKY, ed. Kim Machan (Brisbane: Media Art Asia Pacific Inc. and OCAT Shanghai, 2015), 56.

[4] Bai, “Third Spatial Position,” 57.

Review written for the exhibtion – New Spatial Paintings by Paul Bai. 17th December 2016 – 4th February 2017. Private residence, Spring Hill.

Brian Fuata at First Thursdays

Brian Fuata Will Most Likely Die From Suicide or “Minibar” was a delightful insider take on performance art.

Using a sheet with a gaffa tape outline, a microphone stand, a printed poster (possibly a plan for the performance, but it wasn’t clear) and two chairs Fuata began by wandering around, setting up, sipping his beer, saying hello to people while balancing on one leg and occasionally getting stuck in a glitch-like sequence of movements as he worked through movements like thoughts.

Billed as a ‘durational structured improvisation’, Fuata set up a sequence of movements and interactions to repeat in two later iterations around the gallery. There was no obvious distinction between Fuata’s performance when he said it was now ‘beginning’ and started the iphone timer. Fuata charged the crowd with remembering the sequence but whether it was a failure of our collective memory or intentional on the artist’s part, by the second round we were randomly yelling out things that had happened in no particular order.

Early on, Fuata pulled out Harriet from the crowd, sat her in a chair and asked her to put the white sheet over him when he moved his arm in a certain way. Contorting on the ground, once the sheet was on, the artist howled like a ghost and ‘levitated’ a chair while reciting lyrics from Beyoncés Run the World (Girls). Later Fuata mimed sharing amyl with Simon from the crowd. At one point kissed Johannes on the forehead and made a note to the crowd that it was going to happen two more times.

Fuata is very warm and engaging as a performer. At the event he was able to create a micro-community out of us by engaging the crowd in the performance, Inviting laughter at his informality (he frequently discussed the sequence with the crowd, broke into laughter himself and said his thoughts out loud) simultaneously embracing the absurdity of performance art.

Enjoyable as it was, it was difficult to engage with Fuata’s thinking behind the performance. It was intended as a ‘performed suicide’ according to the text, but short of a few references to ‘dad’ ending up as ‘dad bod’, the narrative arc was hard to see. There are critical threads to pull however.

As a Samoan queer performer in the gallery space, his scattered informal approach denied the gallery its authority. The clash of high and low culture added to the sense of community ownership. At the performance I couldn’t help thinking of 90s classic She’s All That, where the serious performance artists writhe under a white sheet, only to be upstaged by Freddie Prince Jr playing hackey sack when unexpectedly thrust onto stage. It’s hard to decide which Fuata most resembles.

At one point, during the outside iteration of the sequence of events, a car pulled up to see what we were all looking at. It’s a tribute to Fuata’s engaging physicality while directing singing artist Clare Cowley to repeat phrases that they stayed for a while before moving on.

In the end it was the annoyingly familiar iphone alarm (Fittingly as the only structured part of the performance, Fuata forgot to turn it on but put it on for one minute at the end) that closed the performance. The crowd didn’t really pay attention to it however; we were watching to see what Fuata would do next.

For more information on upcoming First Thursdays events go to http://www.ima.org.au

Written by Rosie Goldfeder

 

Brian Fuata at First Thursdays, 3 August 2017. Institute of Modern Art

The Authenticity of Shatrick

Shatrick, the creative duo comprised of artists Shannon Tonkin and Patrick Zaia, briefly returned from Melbourne to their hometown of Brisbane for a series of performances at Metro Arts in mid-June. Their appearances were part of The View from Here: A Small Perspective on Big Ideas, a four day contemporary art event which inhabited the entirety of Metro’s Edward Street building.

To see the duo’s installation and performance it is necessary to walk down Metro’s innocuous concrete driveway. At the rear of the building The Garden of Shatrick is a disruptive eruption of pink and green against a typical urban backdrop.

The physical work is constructed using two repurposed outdoor shower tents which are bathed in a pink light placed above them. The tents are adorned with green, handmade leaves constructed from various fabrics and synthetic materials. The wire mesh that the leaves hang off is visible, as are the safety pins which keep in place The Garden’s various components.

The layer of exterior foliage, and even the whole work, can be said to be organic (within the confines of visual art). The Garden explicitly presents itself as the product of human hands, and embodies a craft aesthetic while rejecting any desire to be simply artificial (unlike its surrounding urban environment). It appears naturally handmade and organically imperfect.

To enter the confined space of The Garden, you crouch down and walk through a strip of vertical red and white streamers. Shatrick are immediately to your left. Tonkin and Zaia are facing each other, parallel to the door. Naked, they are blindfolded by a loosely cut, pink fabric. Shatrick are engaged in a perpetual kiss which is unbroken for the duration of the performance. Their lips never break; their hands are always joined by their sides. They continuously produce a synchronised humming noise, a rhythmic bodily chant. There is an element of immense physical endurance to the work.

The viewer appraises Shatrick (the living, real, actual entity of two performers made one) as a component of the aesthetic make-up of The Garden: their pubic hair, jewellery, bodies, breathing, and chanting are part of the artwork itself.

There are eight clear cellophane wombs with small red papier mache foetuses inside them scattered throughout the tent. Behind Shatrick, one emerges from a vaguely vaginal form. Other seemingly organic forms, painted in red and white, are pinned to the interior walls. The work’s organic content is again echoed by its organic, handmade forms.

The work acts as a sanctuary, a visually divergent and relatively natural garden which ensconces and shields someone from the urban, outside world. In entering The Garden the viewer enters Shatrick’s refuge and subsumes themselves to the environment and workings of the art piece. Tonkin and Zaia are not visible within the work as two separate performers, as they would be outside the work. It is precisely the garden of Shatrick, and the two artists disappear within the form of this being.

At first, then, the work appears to be about connection: two people are joined authentically and totally by the romantic gesture of the kiss and become a singular entity. But, the idea of connection only surfaces if Shatrick is split into Shannon and Patrick. The being of Shatrick does not pinpoint a moment of connection, because Shatrick always was a singular being within the interior logic of The Garden.

Connection hence moves beyond the representation of a link between two subjects. The Garden represents one subject as a seamless connection that cannot be pinpointed. Although two human figures are here visible, their notional existence is as a conceptual whole at all times. Within the work, there was always only Shatrick, but it remains that the viewer sees the two performers at the same time. The idea of Shatrick replaces the physical reality which defines Tonkin and Zaia as two separate performers.

Connection is no longer based on the joining of two things but rather on the way that two separate things invisibly exist as a whole. It is not only that an individual is seen as a multiplicity. Both Tonkin and Zaia are visible, but each relates to the other within the same whole of Shatrick. Something external (the other performer) enters each performer’s subjective space at all times, even if both artists can be neatly demarcated. Therefore, subjective space disappears and is replaced by its very connection with what is external to it. The material individual is replaced by their conceptual connection with the world.

And here the foundation of this engagement, of this subject-as-connection, is one of blind devotion. Blindfolded, Zaia and Tokin do not gaze at each other, but are conjoined by their perpetual kiss, linked hands, and the rhythmic chant they produce. The blind gaze is hence one of the key tenets of the work, as it similarly describes the way that the conceptual link between the performers, that which makes them Shatrick, cannot be seen. Tonkin and Zaia remain visible as two physically separate beings, yet they are simultaneously and invisibly conjoined as Shatrick.

Inversely, the cellophane wombs allow the previously blind foetuses, nestled as they ordinarily would be within the darkness of the natural womb, to watch over the performance. As the forms which can gaze at the action unfolding, the viewer hence has something in common with these foetal forms.

Yet, if Shatrick is to be considered truly a part of the artwork, to be considered as an image within the larger image of The Garden, then the gaze of the foetuses is the gaze of Shatrick. Both Shatrick and the foetuses are part of one and the same work, and this means their separate gazes are conjoined as one aesthetic whole within The Garden. The work looks at itself at all times. Shatrick watches over the viewer and watches over their own self through the medium of the foetuses. Hence, The Garden of Shatrick gazes at itself, devotes itself to itself. Shatrick is never truly blind, as the medium of the foetuses instigates a voyeuristic relationship with the viewer and the aesthetic environment.

The authenticity of The Garden then arises not in its devotional qualities, but in its blindness to its own existence within the greater whole which the viewer represents. The work gazes inwardly at itself, and this is reflected in the way it is aesthetically divergent to the pre-fabricated urbanity of its surrounding environment.

But, this inward gazing and establishing of difference is precisely what links The Garden to the world because it is what links The Garden’s components with each other. Shatrick blindly devotes themselves to themselves while diverging from their surrounding environment within their garden. Yet, Shatrick is blindly connected to the environment of the artwork through the interconnected aesthetic of the foetuses which watch over them. Shatrick’s subjective interior and composition as an individual remains contingent on a connection, whether it be blind or invisible, with an outside world that gazes back.

Written by Simon Brigden

Review for the exhibition ‘The Garden of Shatrick’. Metro Arts, Brisbane. 7th-10th June, 2017.

Image: Shatrick: The Garden of Shatrick. Photo Credit: Darren Thomas, PhotoCo.

Christian Thompson: Ritual Intimacy

You may be most familiar with Christian Thompson’s 2008 works Black Gum 1, 2 and 3 a series which has often been on display at GOMA over the past few years. The works feature 3 photographs akin to mugshots of a person in a black hoodie with red and gold gum blossoms spilling out of the face. It’s arresting for it’s simplicity and ability to encompass so many issues with just a few symbols.

As a Bidjara man, Thompson’s work references the history of Indigenous peoples in Australia. Thompson was notably only the second Aboriginal Australian person to be admitted to study at Oxford where he completed his PhD in 2016. The black hoodie is a powerful symbol of black youth culture, the raised hood of disengagement and hopelessness. In contrast the escaping gum blossoms are unexpected and beautiful. Native to Australia , they suggest the bounty of Aboriginal cultures often overlooked.

The three large-format photographs provide the perfect entrance to Thompson’s first survey show currently on display at the Queensland College of Art at Griffith University in Southbank. The presented works include photography, video and, oddly, a sculpture. As a single object, it feels somewhat out of place but continues the slick aesthetic of the photographs.

With prominent cheek-bones and a Vogue pout, many of Thompson’s works resemble high fashion photo-shoots. The allusion to contemporary Instagram selfie culture is difficult to escape. Thompson creates characters, sublime and ghostly that feature in the studio portraits. However, as Thompson himself describes, “While I’m interested in portraiture – I don’t consider my work as portraiture because that suggests that I’m trying to portray myself, my own visage, my own image. I employ images, icons, materials, metaphors to capture and idea and moment in time. There are many different things at play; taking a picture of myself is really the last thing that’s on my mind.” in conversation with curator Hetti Perkins in the exhibition catalogue.

This aesthetic is used to particularly good effect in Refugee (2015), where Thompson’s intense stare and closeups add to the mysterious allure of the Bidjara language. Thompson also uses the documentary function of video and photography to access meaning through archiving. By recording the song, Thompson ensures the ongoing life of the endangered language, at odds with the intention of many of the archives of Aboriginal people he encountered in Oxford.

In some cases the works can be a little frustrating because despite a similar studio portrait format, they don’t have the restrained genius of Black Gum. Instead however, this seems like a purposeful direction towards commenting on specific issues. For example Thompsons’ Untitled #6 (2010) features a garish green character with purple flowers for eyes and Chinese-printed Aboriginal-designed colourful suit holding a bunch of white lillies. The character is jarring and nightmarish but uses this to comment on the disjointed influences of the artist.

While this exhibition feels like it is missing works that would have presented a more complete story, it’s an interesting look at a very experimental practice working with mediums that seek to draw the viewer into their world rather than continuing that of the outside. The intimacy of large works featuring ritual repetition perfectly reflect the title and are worth a look.

Written by Rosie Goldfeder

Christian Thompson: Ritual Intimacy is on display at the Griffith University Art Gallery until 23 September, 2017.

Image: Christian Thompson –  Black Gum 1, 2 and 3 (2008). Photograph.

Chase Archer: sub-urban

Chase Archer, a Brisbane-based artist, describes the work in his exhibition ‘sub-urban’ as painted collages inspired from a collection of iPhone images, childhood photographs, drawings, mass media and the historic art canon. Through these means, Archer explores the suburban condition – a condition which refers to personal experiences that are formed in an abstract way. “With these works, the inter-relationship of the images become key. Sometimes you can say a lot with very few images, a kind of shorthand which can tap into a variety of memories and emotions.” (Chase Archer, 2017).

Recently, I spoke with Chase to discuss his solo exhibition ‘sub-urban’ (7th April – 29th April at Woolloongabba Art Gallery), to talk further about what led to the creation of his new work, how it differentiates from his previous work, and the central themes.

 

  1. What was your intended key purpose/meaning?

I don’t usually start a work with the intention of evoking any primary meaning. It’s an exploration of thoughts and a cathartic way of digesting ideas and themes which have been swimming around in my mind. I will often have certain images that I will take note of, photograph, draw etc. and then when I start a new piece I will go through this process of combining these images to create a certain tension between the elements. The results will often be layered with meaning, but these are obscured throughout the process. It is only at the end when I can sit back and assess the image as a finished piece that the ‘meaning’ will fully reveal itself. Which leads into your next question – the ‘framework’ that I refer to in the description of the exhibition is a collection of ideas, images etc. that are particular to myself and the way I experience life, we all understand things through a particular lens which is unique to ourselves as individuals, I just hope that there is a commonality that resonates with the viewer. I hope the images serve as a greater symbol beyond the immediate picture.

  1. In the artwork description it says, “These images provide the framework for scenes exploring the suburban condition”. Could you elaborate on what suburban condition means?

By suburban condition, I refer to a type of suburban malaise. A kind of nihilistic disaffection that can come from living in a suburban environment. You’re kind of in this purgatory where you don’t have the peace and space that you do rurally and you don’t have the proximity and anonymity of the ‘city’, you’re sort of stuck in this middle ground. A few of the paintings in the exhibition refer to places (i.e Old Coach Rd and Runcorn) I have previously lived. The central interior on Old Coach road is the living room of a townhouse I shared with my brother down the Coast for many years. It represents a vessel in which I encountered those years of my life. It is a symbol of a very particular experience to me. It’s an abstract idea that an interior can be, in all its blandness, a potent symbol of mediocrity.

  1. Is your exhibition meant to convey a feeling of nostalgia?

The intent was to combine imagery that functioned as a symbol which would portray or represent an idea/feeling to the viewer. Not in a specific literal way, but I wanted to have enough content to provide the foundations for an idea. This in some ways is reliant on nostalgia, but in a nonspecific way. The resulting artworks may present a different feeling to different people dependent on the person, their previous experiences etc. Works like Sippenhaft, reference a childhood photograph and engage in a dialogue on a few levels. The bottom image is clearly referencing an old photo, probably not too dissimilar from something most people of a similar upbringing would recognise, yet through the process of translating the photograph through paint, the image takes on new connotation of a ‘unique’ piece of art. Although this translation changes the ‘meaning’ of the image (reproducible versus unique, art versus photography etc.), the underlying symbolism of the photo remains the same. The inclusion of the lines coming from the boy on the rights eyes disrupts the picture plane and ties the image to the wooden support and by extension the work of ‘art’. By bringing this image into the wider picture plane it then establishes a dialogue with the print above. Without that, they may be interpreted as two independent images. The print above is based on a small section of an engraving of the Spanish Inquisition by Henry Duff Linton of two men being crucified. By placing that image with the two boys, a contrast and tension between the images begins. People now have a framework in which to construct meaning. I had the title Sippenhaft in my mind for some time, it wasn’t until I had finished the work that I realised this was the piece for it. Give it a google if you aren’t familiar with the term.

  1. How are these works in sub-urban different to what you have produced in the past?

These works have been created over the past 12 months so they are indicative of something I have been working on for some time. They differ from older paintings as I was primarily focused on portraiture for a number of years. I’ve always been a figure painter, yet these works have incorporated new architectural, mechanical elements as well.

In the final year of my fine art degree I started screen printing. I was fortunate enough to do a type of ‘internship’ for uni with a great artist called Samuel Tupou, who showed me the process of screen printing. I also began playing around with digital collages as a means of creating screen prints. The thought process behind creating a print as opposed to a painting is very different. Once I finished the degree I found that this process of creating prints had impacted the way in which I now approached painting. I would start to play around with the combination of images and the medial exchange present when you place two separate mediums in dialogue with one another. I still love portraiture, but am enjoying seeing how far you can strip something back while still maintaining the meaning of the image. As a younger painter, I fell into the trap of having to push things to a point of being overworked. I don’t struggle so much with that anymore, being content to leave things a little unfinished.

Interview conducted and written by Jazmin Duque

 

Image: Chase Archer, Big deal Warren, I wagged all of year ten (2016). Oil on wood, 60 x 90 cm.

After Hours

We pause for a moment to situate ourselves, to plot out the coordinates of our subject positions [1] .

As I consider the slow progression of sunbeams that will see themselves into the exhibition space and drown out the digital light of Jarrod Van Der Ryken’s video work, I find myself also thinking of the subject within a sea of subjects. I, here, now, live out a kind of shared life with the person I trace on the screen, with a level of familiarity that enables me to empathise, to extrapolate.

The self on display here is the self in space and in time.

Such a presentation of self offers up different readings that tangle together; does the artist seek to apply some form of autoethnographic method to a contextual self-exploration? Is it he or I that I’m seeing reflected in this late night hedonism and early morning reverie? Or are we simply connected, plugged into the same cyborgian networks [2] , both of us other and existing in close proximity; embodied bodies that run unseen and under the radar until we force our image onto the world.

But is the artist’s image in the world, if the viewer is the same as the viewed?

In true feminist form, Van Der Ryken’s embodiment extends to site and becomes a politics of location or positionality, linking geopolitics to an understanding of how subjects are produced [3] . Parks, in speaking of her version of plotting the personal, sees new ways of imagining and visualizing social difference that are based on human movement rather than physiognomy or pigmentation [4] .

In this way I can locate myself in location; I view my own creation by tracing my trajectory backward from this exhibition space, through routes I’ve taken and encounters, social and material, they’ve facilitated. I have been assembled and contribute to greater assemblage.

In seeking true otherness, therefore, this embodied self (the artist or I?) must find alternative modes of travel through space and time.

This fringe time, night seeping into day, has formed the artist and is now formed by the artist. A temporal representation of a conscious exit from normative cultural frameworks; the pulse of the working week, the self-enforced bedtimes inherited from sensible parents. 4-6am is a desolate interval, outside propriety. The viewing of its occupation conjures a slow burn of thoughts from decadent grotesquery to melancholic introspection. Perhaps this transmutation is the cyclically waning legitimacy of the other, edging back into conventional time spans and once again losing primacy, like giants confined to the witching hour.

As the video works its way into daylight, I slip between scenes and see a contrast also between spatiality. Both exuding domestic subtropics, one is rich in immediacy, with the free-form improvisations of social interactivity, and the other carefully constructed and static, tasting of intentionality.

Within each, however, I observe the signifiers of class and culture, the trappings of the now, contradicting or affirming claims of otherness while also locating the work geographically and temporally.

The objects and architectures allow me to see, once more, the process of past and ongoing assemblage, and expose the partial, situated nature of the individual experience borne of its socio-material context. The singular other is only one partial experience within an infinitely inclusive and complex whole that can and will only ever exist in this exact moment and place.

As Van Der Ryken’s body of work explores, contemporary life is guided by and housed within the positioned histories that have come before this one. These are the space-times of the recent past that we intuitively understand although we cannot reach back and touch them, interactions restricted to voyeurism through object encounters.

The act of refocusing from near past to near present continues this thematic journey by highlighting the inevitable, cryonic isolation of our current, situated state of socio-material assemblage. As we pause for that moment to situate ourselves, we find not a self, but a place and a time and a way of being, and we wait for when the next configuration draws it, too, beyond easy reach.

Written by Amelia Hine

——-

  1. Naomi Stead (2009) If On a Winter's Day a Tourist, Architectural Theory Review, 14:2, 108-118.
  2. Donna Haraway (1988) Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective, Feminist Studies, 14:3, 575-599.
  3. Lisa Parks (2001) Cultural geographies in practice: Plotting the personal. Global Positioning Satellites and interactive media. Cultural Geographies 8:209–22.
  4. Ibid.

Essay written for the exhibition ‘there’s no telling how long i’ll be here by Jarrod Van Der Ryken. (2017)

Helle Cook – Notion of Home

—Betwixt and Between—

In general understanding, the term ‘liminal’ refers to the ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a ritual. It is a term for the threshold between the way one previously structured their identity, time, and community, and a new way once the ritual completes. In contemporary sociology, the term liminality has become used as “a prism through which to understand transformations in the contemporary world”[1]. It captures in-between situations and conditions characterised by the dislocation of established structures, the reversal of hierarchies, and uncertainty about the continuity of tradition and future outcomes.

It is clear that migration is, in part, a liminal experience: a dreamlike state of cultural transformation and disruption. The liminal stage is arguably one of the most dynamic and challenging conditions of the migration process, and the concept of liminality is being re-introduced and re-contextualised as foundational in understanding cultural shifts within expanding globalisation.[2]

In Notion of Home, Helle Cook uses painting processes to investigate this intermediate period of her migration from Denmark to Australia. Her practice demonstrates liminality in migration to be a temporal state which fluctuates and slowly fades, but never entirely resolves. As with Salvador Dali’s melting clocks, the fluidity in these works depicts time as non-linear; rather, they present experiences and issues that come with remembering them: questions of perception, memory and identity. In this way, her work typifies the sensation of leaving home, and the grapple with memory that follows… as time is rendered fluid, memories become ambiguous, unstructured, and have connections drawn between them in hindsight.

The laws of gravity and logic also do not apply in such transitional works. Shifting between abstraction and figuration, they gauge the sudden interruption, existential unease, and the disorientation of the migration process through the subtle transmission of codes, symbols and structures with uncertain outcomes. This cultural translation of meaning is described as occurring in a “Third Space” in influential theories by Homi Bhabha. Third Space is a course of interpretation in which cultural symbols are not attached to their origins, and so can be appropriated, re-historicised and read anew. Meaning is unfixed. He states: “we should remember that it is the ‘inter’ – the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the inbetween space – that carries the burden of the meaning of culture.”[3]

As such, through allowing the painting medium agency in the process, Cook takes on a slow and intuitive method where the works can drive their own progress without a predetermined outcome; she allows for this Third Space. One is reminded of the surrealists, who sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind by the irrational juxtaposition of images and symbols. Bringing with her cultural concepts of hygge, she creates sanctuary to explore this space through the process of creating an image. Similarly, considered design aesthetics, something that Cook views as integral to being Danish, are set against ‘chance’. It is evidently a therapeutic approach; a means of self-exploration- one can see landscapes, creatures, cultural objects and design, with pathways, like neurones, making connections both within the painting and in dialogue with others around. It is an investigative process, and though the works are somewhat resolved pictorially, they remain unresolved in their intention.

This curiosity in the unconscious can be read in the work, but also invites the viewer. The result of such works is that they are emphatically non-prescriptive and evocative. By placing the viewer in a surreal space, one allows them to make their own connections and interpretations, taking into consideration the way “unresolved” or “undetermined” elements can create potential for new relationships to be formed. Perhaps the viewer has also experienced liminality; are they an outsider?

The dissolution of order during liminality creates a malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established. Leaving spaces for contradiction, hybridity, fluidity and transition are fundamental in understanding the sensations of migration. In the experience, one does not find themselves splitting the world into neat binaries, but find themselves in an in-between state, the remainder, or the dream, that is essential in constructing culture in an increasingly globalised condition.

Written by Marisa Georgiou

—–

Essay written for the exhibition ‘Notion of Home’ by Helle Cook @ QCA Project Gallery, Southbank, Brisbane, April 2017.

[1]  2015, BREAKING BOUNDARIES; Varieties of Liminality, Ed. Horvath, A, Thomassen, B, Wydra, H, Berghan Books, Oxford, p1.

[2] Ibid.

[3] 1994, Bhabha, Homi, The Location of Culture, Routledge, p56.

Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories

Entering into Robert Andrew’s exhibition “Our mutable histories” at Museum of Brisbane, I am immediately confronted with a warping mechanical sound. This is coming from Andrew’s most recent work, “Data Stratification.”

Combining the sleek aesthetic of modern technology with natural materials, Andrew has developed a number of kinetic installations which speak of his Indigenous Australian history. Having descended from the Yawuru people of the Rubibi (Broome) area West Kimberley in Western Australia, Andrew generates work which questions the broader context of European colonisation in a way which is commanding and yet somewhat subtle.

Commissioned and meticulously built for the space, the work is comprised of a small TV screen displaying a definition of a Yawuru word with its English translation. I read the word “Buru Jara” with its English translation “Me and Your Land, World”.

My eyes can’t help but feel transfixed by the mechanical component of the work which moves hypnotically like an ouija board. The machine works within a Cartesian system relying on the text displayed on screen to generate a programmed movement responsible for the puppet mastery of materials.

Each string in the mechanical grid threads up along the ceiling to correlate with four rows of natural materials. The materials consist of small irregular grey rock; shards of mother of pearl tied in a tight bunch; rigid tile shaped rocks rubbed with ochres and natural pigments; and small chunks of charcoal branches dipped in a red ochre.

I am taken with the slow movements of the materials. I watch the strings draw and ease out tension which orchestrates an ever-changing choreographed dance, layering shadows and shapes in a way which is completely captivating.

I sit and contemplate Andrew’s selection of materials and I take in this concept of Buru Jara.

The use of text and language plays an important role within Andrew’s practice as a tool for critiquing colonisation.  Through this work, Andrew is educating the audience on a vocabulary that most Australian’s are not aware of. By using text within his art practice, Andrew reclaims a medium which has dominated cross cultural interaction within the process of colonisation and brings to light the significance of Indigenous language by acknowledging words that have become lost in their English translations.

What gives this work its strength is its ability to communicate the richness and connection that is lacking in text through the authority and communicative dimension of materials.  Instead of show casing these objects in a traditional glass case museum context, Andrew gives these objects the performative power to tell their own history, responding to the coded movement of each Indigenous phrase or word.

This shift in authority speaks heavily to past misrepresentation of Indigenous history within Museum culture. Bordering on an institutional critique, Andrew presents these objects from an Indigenous perspective. Through the hypnotic and gradual movement, Andrew provides the audience with space to contemplate the significance and history of these materials belonging to a culture rich in a connection to place and land.

It should also be noted the striking juxtaposition of combining traditional and earthly materials with the modernity of 21st Century technology. Andrew utilises this combination of old and new in relation to his own mixed heritage, generating a new way in which to approach cross cultural connection.

This is also evident on the far wall, another sound spits and spatters like a sprinkler starting up, rapidly delivering a message in a morse code like fashion. This work, “Ground Up”, is another mechanical installation which sees large white panels covered in chalk beginning to reveal their secrets.

Andrew has designed this work to play upon the tension of revealed and concealed histories. Timing on a palmisphet system, the machine squirts small sprays of water which in turn, wet the chalk background and reveal text written in natural ochres.

The machine appears to pick a spot at random, changing from high to low and only reveals a few small splotches at a time. Each sprayed section mimics the effect of wood weevils, dribbling and scribbling into the background.

At my time of viewing, only a few letters are revealed and I imagine being able to read more as time progresses, adding incentive to come back and experience this work again.

The tension between revealing and concealing weaves through Andrew’s body of work as a crucial process and conceptual concern most effectively achieved through this kinetic process. The work also relies on time as a key element to its durational aspect, slowly introducing the audience to a seriousness at the core of Andrew’s practice.

The last installation, “White Wash Over The Burn”, is a static sculptural assemblage on the wall. This piece stands to anchor the movement of the kinetic installations, reiterating the personal connection Andrew has to investigating his own cultural identity.

The use of his own fence palings conjures up the great Australian dream to own a house.  Andrew contrasts this aspirational concept by burning words exchanged between the artist and his grandmother into the white washed palings.

The patina reflects layers of history revealing the wooden origins of the fence, kindling thoughts of the land and connections to place. Through the process of burning, Andrew makes us think about our past and the pain of genocide, displacement and disregard experienced as part of our colonial history.

This piece particularly echoes the silenced and white washed history that is only just beginning to be heard and acknowledged. The quiet authority of the exhibition reflects within the title “Our mutable histories” as Andrew challenges through the communicative power of materials, mechanical revealing processes and text, the story of our collective Australian and personal histories.

Written by Ally McKay

References:

Museum Of Brisbane, 2017. Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories, accessed 21/03/2017

Robert Andrew, 2015. Recalibrating Country, accessed 20/03/2017

Image: Installation view, Robert Andrew, Our mutable histories, Photograph Carl Warner.

Essay written for the exhibition Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories′ showing at Museum of Brisbane (3rd March – 16th July, 2017).

Sit. Pose. Snap. Exhibition Review

Sit. Pose. Snap. at Museum of Brisbane is an exhibition curated by Philip Manning consisting of photographs from the extensive collection of Marcel Safier, amassed over nearly four decades. Considering the enormity of the collection, some 40,000 images, the exhibition represents a relatively small scope, predominantly consisting of studio images made in Brisbane from 1850-1950. Displayed in a dynamically partitioned gallery space, the images, framed and matted thematically, explore the progression from particular 19th century Brisbane photographic studios and their outputs to more informal group shots and images outdoors, permitted by the availability, cost and physical practicality of the cameras that created them. The context of the exhibition illustrated a linear progression from exclusivity of the medium to a more democratic availability, and yet an almost full cycle in terms of the prominence of post production.

Despite its indexicality, even from the beginning photography could not be trusted to represent ‘the truth’. Representing and disseminating the truth has been adopted as a code of conduct in areas such as photojournalism, but is not inherently embedded in the medium 2. Both subtle and obvious choices by the photographer and the subject(s) including lighting, composition, choice of garments and pose all contribute to the final image being a constructed ‘version’ of reality. With this in mind, photography can be understood not as the ‘truth’ but as a ‘limit’ of time and vision 3. Far from the ethical considerations of photojournalism, however, the subjects of these early portrait images instead merely desired to present the best version of themselves. In exchange for a handsome fee, photography studios would do all that they could to idealise the subjects, whose image increasingly could be sent to friends and family members by mail. The time period outside the scope of the exhibition, 1950 – present, is a period where photography became accessible and readily available, therefore largely bypassing postproduction. It is only recently with the filters and effects of Snapchat and Instagram that postproduction is now widely used again. The main difference is that rather than being edited by a professional, choices of retouching are now made by the subject, who is also the author.

Several images in the exhibition clearly demonstrate photography’s ability to augment reality such as a small ‘ghost’ image and as Philip Manning, curator of the exhibition points out in one of his favourite images, the addition of snow in post production to a woman’s portrait. It is unknown why the snow was added to the image, perhaps a longing for a previous country of residence, although it is exactly this mystery that gives the image its magic and charm.  The novelty of such effects have persisted over the decades, manifesting in images posed with humorous face cut-outs, CGI images at tourist attractions to more recent Snapchat effects which respond to the users facial features and movements, transforming them into various animals and characters.

While moments of humour and novelty punctuate the exhibition, the overall tone of the show is one of nostalgia. This is not only due to the serious expressions of those it captures (due to long expose times, smiles were too risky) but also due to photography’s position as an updated version of the Dutch still life tradition, memento mori. Due to its indexicality, photography (more literally than painting) captures images of time passing. The nostalgic nature of photography has been most extensively explored by French critical theorist Roland Barthes (1915-1980), who noted that even photography itself is temporal, with creases, fading and yellowing representing the images finite lifespan 1.

Another contribution of Barthes’s which manifests in Sit.Pose.Snap. is his formulation of the studium and the punctum. According to Barthes, the studium is a cultural, general and polite interest one has in a photograph, such as the appearance of sitter or the details of the location etc. The punctum is a more intense, subjective interest in an image, a moment which fascinates a viewer without particularly knowing how or why. He states, “a “detail” attracts me. I feel that its mere presence changes my reading, that I am looking at a new photograph, marked in my eyes with a higher value”1. Navigating the visually eclectic exhibition, these punctum emerge over a period of slow and consistent looking and reading. Subsequent visits are further rewarded, and magnifying sheets provided by the museum bring one closer to small, often strange details of the carte de visites.

Sit.Pose.Snap. is a fascinating survey of a distant century of Brisbane studio photography. What the exhibition illustrates is how some aspects of photography have changed forever (its technology), how some aspects have never changed (the desire to present the best version of oneself) and how some aspects have only recently completed a full loop (the prominence of post production). At a time where photography is visible to the point of invisibility, Sit.Pose.Snap. offers a quiet and informative moment of reflection.

Written by Aaron Butt

1 Barthes, Roland. 1981. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Canada: Harper Collins Canada Ltd.

2 Grundberg, Andy. 2012. “The Look of Truth.” Art in America 1 (3): 67–70.

3 Sentilles, Sarah. 2014. “The Photograph Not as Proof but as Limit” In Ethics and the Arts, edited by Paul Macneill, 47-56. London and New York: Springer.

Image: Two Salvation Army girls Thomas Mathewson  Co. Postcard, 1910 -1915, courtesy of Marcel Safier’s collection.

Essay written for the exhibition ‘Sit. Pose. Snap. Brisbane Portrait Photography 1850 – 1950′ showing at Museum of Brisbane (24th March – 30th July, 2017).