WHEN : March 9th, 6:00 – 9:00pm
WHERE : Pestorius Sweeney House, Brisbane
Working predominantly in video performance, Tahiraj combines digital and hand-made processes to enact a playful tension between everyday experience and its representation. Adopting a lo-fi, do-it-yourself approach, the artist’s videos, recorded on an iPhone, could almost be YouTube fodder. Yet there is always a twist to the scenarios she spins, always something that elevates the situation out of its apparent banality.
Tahiraj’s most recent video, Traces, takes on landscape, a genre that dominates art in Australia like no other. For artists to critically engage with landscape today they must address this dominance and the discourse surrounding it. Tahiraj does this, firstly by substituting new media processes for painting. She then confounds traditional perspective: there is no unobstructed wide view here, while the artist is very much inside the landscape rather than a detached observer of it. There is also nothing particularly spectacular about the view. Recorded at dusk, light is fading fast. Soon there will only be darkness, with the outlines of the topography all that remains to be sketched.
There is a simplicity and a lightness of touch in this video that is compelling. If Tahiraj is here playfully alluding to the redundancy of the landscape genre, she is also pointing to the value of lived experience and to an art that functions within the fabric of life rather than as an illustration of it.
All of this is lent emphasis through the screening of the video in a specially constructed black-box. Oriented so that its point of entry is not immediately apparent, it initially presents as an autonomous object, a bit like one of Tony Smith’s Minimal sculptures. In the process, architectural space is activated and a hyper-awareness of the indoor/outdoor setting generated.
Louise Tahiraj attended the Queensland University of Technology where she studied with Mark Webb. In 2009 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) and has since been a key participant in Brisbane’s lively ARI scene, exhibiting at and organising shows for spaces such as Accidentally Annie Street and Boxcopy, to name just two of the more well-known enterprises.
For further information, please contact David Pestorius on (07) 3262 4870.