The Institute of Modern Art is pleased to present the new installation Sciencefictive by Brisbane-born Sydney-based established artist Gary Carsley. This immersive project transforms two galleries into an interior garden, seen through apertures, or Moongates, that puncture the white walls of the gallery. As visitors follow a path laid throughout the galleries, they will encounter these Moongates, which serve as windows onto gardens from around the world. These are displayed in the IMA galleries in a physical relationship to each other that they would have if Brisbane were the centre of the world. The entire work therefore functions as a giant Mappa Mundi, and encourages us to contemplate the complex balance between social construct, geography, and flora that characterises gardens. While today’s gardens are typically produced by landscape architects, Carsley suggests an affinity between the process of conceiving and creating a garden and that of the artist—bringing land, sea, and sky together into evocative spaces that offer journeys and compel reflection.
Characteristic of Carsley’s practice, this show disrupts the distinction of the outdoor space of the garden, and the equally contrived space of the decorated domestic interior space. The work includes materials such as wallpaper printed in the likeness of the outdoor sculptures, and IKEA furniture that has been resurfaced with similar prints, building links between these two kinds of built environments and blurring boundaries between inside and outside, natural and constructed.
Brisbane-born Carsley is an artist and educator based in Sydney. His recent solo exhibitions include Gardenesque, TORCH Gallery, Amsterdam (2012); Bark Art, BREENSPACE, Sydney (2009); Scenic Root, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2007); Looking at Works of Art in the Light of Other Works of Art, Artspace, Sydney (2006); Chemical Blonde, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam (2005); and EnTropical, IMA, Brisbane (2003). Group exhibitions include Against the Grain, Museum of Art and Design, New York (2013); There Was a World, Once, Märkisches Museum, Witten, Germany (2012); The Real Unreal, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2009/10); Wonder, Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2008); and Perfect for Every Occasion: Photography Today, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2007). In 2013, Carsley completed a major public commission, D.104 Toohey Forest installed at the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital, Coopers Plains, Brisbane.