Opening: Wednesday 30 November, 6-8pm
Dates: 30 November - 23 December 2016
Mark Shorter’s work proposes a radical encounter between body, sculpture and plinth. Often considered an inert structure, the plinth will be transformed into a volatile wedge that pushes back at the objects it has traditionally supported. The resulting action will be a constant negotiation where the body responds to the plinth's new agency and the sculptures in between yield to the will of these contesting forces.
Mark Shorter (lives and works in Melbourne) is a lecturer in Sculpture and Spatial Practice at the Victoria College of the Arts. He studied at the National Art School, Sydney and the Sydney College of the Arts where he completed a PhD in Visual Arts.
Shorter’s practice deploys performance as an aesthetic strategy to challenge established conventions and to open up new ground for exploration, particularly in relation to the artist’s body and its representation. He has developed and performed identities such as the bawdy country music singer Renny Kodgers, the quixotic journeyman Tino La Bamba, and the time-travelling landscape painting critic Schleimgurgeln. These performance investigations express a unique contemporary grotesquerie and propose a criticality in art that is guttural, visceral and witty. Grounding these works is an interest in how performance functions within the visual arts and broader contemporary culture. Shorter regularly enacts work in atypical, alternative venues to consider the function of art both inside and outside conventional modes of display.
Shorter has exhibited internationally and throughout Australia. Significant exhibitions include: Mapping La Mancha, The Physics Room, Christchurch 2015; The Groker, Plato’s Cave, EIDEA House, New York 2015; 50 Ways to Kill Renny Kodgers, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart, 2014, presented as a part of the Dark MOFO festival; Acts of Exposure, a survey of his Schleimgurgeln performance and video work, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, 2013; and Renny Kodgers LIVE with Pee Pee, presented as part of the Biennale of Sydney’s Superdeluxe@Artspace, 2010. From 2010 to 2012 he was the host of The Renny Kodgers Quiz Hour on FBi 94.5FM. His practice has been critically explored in the publications, Mapping La Mancha (2016), What is Performance Art? (2016) and Quixotic Visions, Lismore Regional Gallery (2013).
Photography by Christo Crocker.