The Puma, The Stranger and The Mountain
Variable dimensions (plaster, fabric, wire, leaves, branches, road kill.)
'The Puma, The Stranger & The Mountain' brings to life the myth that has been whispered around the Grampians near Trevor's hometown of Dunkeld in western Victoria.
Media collide as Trevor probes the latent underpinnings of regional life and landscape: identity, isolation, belief, freedom and captivity, desire and sexuality, raised by tales of this wild cat, which is believed to have prowled the local landscape for decades.
In order to trace the myth, Trevor becomes the puma through performance and, with a mash up of medium, the cabinets are transformed into relics of the places it has been. The rise and demise of Trevor's fake rock band, The Meat Eaters, mirrors the intangible fame of this regional bush legend.
Following a complaint from a member of the public, sections of Cecilia Fogelberg's exhibition featuring photographs of a male nude came under scrutiny. After some heated debate and a request by the City of Melbourne to cover the offending appendages, Next Wave agreed to cover the works. Neither Platform Artists Group nor the artist agree with this action but it has raised some serious discussion topics, especially in relation to artworks being considered in their broader contexts. Read The Age story that week here.
A public discussion and "unveiling" of the censored works will take place with the artist, Cecilia Fogelberg, the City of Melbourne and Next Wave at 5pm on Friday 30 June 2008 at Platform in Degraves Street Subway.
150 x 150mm (acrylic on canvas)
Swedish-Australian artist Cecilia Fogelberg has collaborated with Dunkeld artist Trevor Flinn as part of this year's Next Wave Festival Kick Start Program, presenting a dual exhibition for May. Cecilia has created a diverse body of sculptural, painted and photographic work that explores cultural identity and the migrant experience from an artist's perspective. Cecilia's empathy with Hollywood aliens and art icons form the subjects of her paintings, while a handmade collection of balaclavas extract contradictions in identity and anonymity. Cecilia says about The Puma, The Stranger and The Mountain:
"The core of my work is the construction of reality, the construction of the individual identity, the order of nature and the disorder of nature (within and outside the supermarket), the dreams of fame, the dreams of popular culture in the form of a stoned Mickey Mouse who is dreaming about becoming as famous as Damien Hirst (Hirst representing the Art Supermarket), the alienation from culture and surroundings, the familiarity of a stranger meeting a stranger, the culture struggle within one's own culture, the exile, the myth of the stranger, and country town’s ‘Chinese whispers’ history writing. My work isn’t set in the past in a Swedish setting, nor is it talking about Australia today, but it has resemblances of it both."
Absence (detail installation view)
(various materials including wool, cardboard, paper, paint and plastic)
As part of 2008 Next Wave Festival, we are fortunate to have Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango in a one-month residency at Vitrine and Sample throughout May. Hiromi creates elaborate artist books from the collected memories, stories, letters and diaries that she is given during her interactive public performances.
During her time in Vitrine, Hiromi's objective is to hand-stitch collected ‘feelings and voices’ and develop a collaborative sculpture with the show title and theme of Absence. Her personal engagement with the site, situation and the community that passes will determine the final outcome of the artwork. Even after the first week, complete strangers have come to visit Hiromi, presenting her with drawings and letters, adding to the work and becoming part of an impressive and complex inhabitation. Hiromi says of her current work:
"Absence will contribute to a more critical understanding of how artist and public engagement is defined, and how the artist can intervene into a particular space, potentially generating unexpected moments of intimacy and tension. How much of the exchange is me and how much of it is you? Is it possible to understand each other? The closer I get to you, the more I feel anxious, uneasy and… absent."