Christopher Williams-Wynn, Sophie Neate, Sean McKenzie, June Lam, Alice Duncan FormationOpening: Wednesday 24 July, 6-8pm Dates: 24 July-10 August 2013
Combinations of the real and of imagination form the fundamentally incomplete record of our experiences, our desires and our aspirations. As we grow we begin to understand our lives through the formation of memory. We repress, we forget and we remember all the events that shape who we are.
Formation is an index of recollection in which each gallery space is regarded as a site to both recall and create memory. Using the existing fixtures and characteristics that hint at the things that use to be present, the objects and images are a direct response to the space in which they sit.
The relationships between each artist and their work evolve throughout the multifaceted exhibition. The sculptures, photographs, projections and text reflect upon, and become memories of each other.
Formation explores both personal and collective memory while also considering our inherently limited ability to visualise and verbalise the past.
Coming to art from a background in economics and philosophy, Christopher Williams-Wynn curates and writes with an emphasis on analytical specificity and conceptual rigor. Attuned to the poetic possibilities and physical contingencies of art, he nonetheless deploys theory in order to gain perspectives on the relevance of art in our contemporary conditions of experience. Reflecting his academic background, he is particularly interested in the unresolved tension between the autonomy of art and its commodity status, inflected by increasingly globalized trade and cultural intersections. In addition, he is drawn to the ambivalent status of photography, given its contested position within art history and relationship to events, images and discourse.
Through her practice, Sophie Neate investigates the gestural quality of structures. She pauses objects in motion with photography and casting. Then test this point at which their movements have stopped. How much can be taken away before the structure no longer carries the imprint of it’s original gesture? This intersection between movement and stillness is the point at which Neate’s work operates. Drawn to structures whose form reveals their function, so that even in an arrested state the potentiality of their movements can continue to be seen through the logic of their design. Using systems that contain aspects of leverage, rotation and counter-balance, her work seeks to serve as the tension between what has been locked and that which is still malleable. A sheet of copper leans against a wall, at its base lays a porcelain steering wheel lock. No movement is visible as the copper silently transfers the warmth of the floor into the wall.
Sean McKenzie’s practice, spanning the realms of print and installation, speak of the complexities that exist between memory and the present. McKenzie’s practice intersperses found objects and images with those of his own making. Located between the hand crafted and the mechanically produced, McKenzie’s work both creates and erases the traces of memory; placing something once identifiable within a new ambiguous reality; amidst the latency of the unknown. Sean McKenzie lives and works in Melbourne.
June Lam is a Melbourne based Australian artist currently completing the third year of a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Spatial Practice at the Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of VCA & MCM, Melbourne University. While she works predominantly within the field of Sculpture and assemblage, she has an interest in time-based practices. Her work attempts to unfold in physical form aspects of the production of consciousness and memory, as an attempt to process lingering sensitivities and moments of absurdity within ones personal histories. In attempting the unpick elements from the past, her work inadvertently broaches on ways of accessing and shifting temporalities; to use sculpture as a way of slowing down or rearranging time.
Alice Duncan is a jack-of-all-trades, currently residing in Melbourne, Australia. She is fascinated by our addiction to everyday routine and through repetition of routines we become unconscious to our surroundings and the space we occupy when performing such tasks.
Duncan toys with the feelings of expectation brought on by routine and falling victim to the idea that one has “seen it all before”. Her work removes this blanket of memory by showing the viewer what is not expected. In her work, Duncan becomes a director. Sound and echo lose narrative and become physical objects used to lead people through one space and into another. Objects seem to defy gravity and are precariously placed as though a single touch will cause it to fall. Her work resides only in the space and time it occupies. It cannot be bought or taken away; it is purely situation, which exists in the experience and the memory of the spectator.