Flocked plaster cast packaging
Photos courtesy of John Brash
At the beginning of 2006, I picked up the casing of a strange looking object that had been dropped on the pavement between the sex shop and the local hardware in St Kilda. It wasn’t the packaging that interested me but the empty space that was left after an object had been consumed. This single act turned out to be the catalyst for a collection of other plastic packages that held more mundane objects: toys, office supplies, hardware stuff. I then started plaster casting the empty spaces in the packaging and flocking them in luminescent colours. I produced hundreds of these objects and attached them directly to the wall in patterns that suggested three-dimensional wallpaper in a site-specific installation called Flock.
Rubbish Theory extends and relocates this work into the Platform display cases that were once the advertising space for a now defunct department store. Each window will be hung to suggest the typologies of a department store such as kitchenware, bathroom and menswear. The new work will explore some of Michael Thompson’s ideas from Rubbish Theory: The Creation and Destruction of Value, which is an investigation of material culture in relation to circulation and scarcity, transience and durability and how changing tastes affect the meaning and value of objects.
Each display window has a different pattern: patterns of use that reference products that could have been sold in the now defunct department store: computer gear, toys, confection, etc. Other arrangements, mostly crowded, suggest movement and echo the way people pass through the arcade. Apart from being a mad critique of mass production and the era of the $2 dollar shop this work explores the ideas of material culture and asks questions about what objects will survive and become meaningful beyond their looming use by date. How do changing tastes affect the meaning and value of an object? How will this stuff be viewed in twenty years time? Will we laugh about the old technologies and the crap that filled our lives or will some of these objects have a new meanings and significance? The same question could be asked about this artwork.
Julie Shiels makes work for the gallery and public space, including the web. Her practice includes installation and photography but she also stencils discarded furniture in the street with quotes, truisms and stories. Julie has had two solo shows this year. Sleeper at Monash Gallery of Art, which included a photographic installation and pyjamas made from fabric salvaged from abandoned mattresses. Small Packages at Sophie Gannon Gallery was about the ingenuity and hidden beauty of contemporary industrial processes and the nature of obsolescence inherent in mass consumption. Julie teaches in the Art and Public Spaces post-graduate program at RMIT. For more about Julie Shiel’s work visit: City Traces
On show at Platform from 1 – 25 September 2009
Rebecca Delange & Alyshia Boddenberg
Things From The Edges (installation details)
soil, feathers, string, wood, paint, sequins, glitter & other materials
Things From the Edges is an experimental installation work, consisting of a series of relationships and dialogues between objects, materials and ideas. Alyshia Boddenberg and Rebecca Delange have teamed up to collaborate on their shared explorations into ideas pertaining to growth, excess and mutation. Detritus from the streets, artefacts from dreams, unconscious manifestations, things glimpsed in peripheral vision, denied fears and buried moments are articulated in their sculptural assemblages.
In the depths of Melbourne, viewers will be able to observe these elusive forms. Materials such as wood scraps, office supplies, fabric, plastic, paper, carpet, tape rope, household items, string, dirt, clay, feathers, glitter and paint are combined to create work that is simultaneously compelling, repulsive and optimistic. The artists will both utilise the Vitrine cabinet to create a dialogue between two practices to form a semi-abstract installation as they converge.
Rebecca Delange’s work explores ideas of uncomfortableness, disgust, waste and optimism. She is interested in exploring how immaterial things, such as emotions, memories, ideas and attitudes, can actually manifest into three-dimensional forms and exist tangibly in our reality. Delange has recently completed her Honours year at the VCA and has exhibited in a wide range of group and solo exhibitions, including Seventh Gallery, 45 Downstairs, The Counihan Gallery and First Site. She won the Ephemeral Award at the Wangaratta Sculpture Biennale in March 2008.
Alyshia Boddenberg’s work explores the transition of mundane, average, unassuming objects into seductive and dangerous formations that, gaining strength on mass, form a terrain entirely unto themselves. Boddenberg has recently completed her Honours year at the VCA. She was awarded The Casama Group Award, 2008, was short listed for the Dowd Travelling Scholarship, 2008, and selected to participate in The Filippo Raphael Fresh! exhibition at Craft Victoria in 2008.
On show at Vitrine from 1 – 25 September 2009
Aaron Cooper & Ben Taranto
Polyurethene silicon & polyurethene foam
2.4m x 1.2m x 65cm
Photo courtesy of the artists
Subterranean Fouling is a reworking of Biologically Foul – a site-specific installation exhibited as part of the Victoria Harbour Young Artists Initiative at Docklands and presented earlier this year. ‘Biological Fouling’ is a term used to describe the accretion of naturally growing, aquatic organisms upon submerged human-made structures. It is the cause of extensive corrosion to underwater assets and an enormous fiscal threat to marine industries.
Cooper and Taranto simulate fouling of architectural space by creating artificial mussels and barnacles that ‘grow’ inside the Sample cabinet. It entertains the possibility that if current sea levels rise, as we are constantly led to believe, that the Degraves Street Subway could become prime space for the next wave of urban biological fouling.
Aaron Cooper and Ben Taranto are currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Victorian College the Arts majoring in sculpture and spatial practice. Working in collaboration they use sculpture and installation as a means to explore tensions arising between the organic and synthetic, urban and natural, aquatic and terrestrial realms.
Curated by Laura Castagnini
On show at Sample from 1 – 25 September 2009
Hand drawn animation still
DVD, looped, colour, sound, 4:15 Minutes
The root origin of the word terminal is terminus, the end of a line. A terminal is also an external computer station that allows input to an internal network. A terminal is a point of connection that closes the loop of an electric circuit. A terminal disease is that which is predicted to lead to death, especially slowly. A terminal velocity denotes the constant speed an object reaches when the resistance of the medium through which it falls prevents further acceleration.
In this work, Terminal, we see the daily life of a worker in a modern day 'electronic plantation'. Falling through his viscous life, a terminal velocity is reached. Repetitive tasks and repetitive days keep him on a loop, his position being a terminal, closing the loop of his office network circuit. The worker is slowly reaching the end of the line, a terminus at which he'll not burn out, just fade away.
Simon O'Carrigan works across animation, collage and painting and has exhibited in various galleries around Melbourne since 2005. Simon’s work has been included in Hatched National Graduate exhibition at PICA, and earned him the NAVA Ignition Award. His animations have been commissioned for the City Museum in Melbourne, screened in Taiwan, Canberra Short Film Festival, Brisbane International Animation Festival, This Is Not Art's Electrofringe, and included in various DVD zine compilations by Tape Projects.
On show at Frame from 1 – 25 September 2009
Misster Dean and Ms Teen
Photobooth photography composite (detail)
Complete set taken 1999-2009
Photo booths are found in bars, airports, train stations, malls, games arcades and walkways around the world. They are the everyday person’s photographic studio and a portal in which one enters to become a model, actor, documentary photographer or creative artist. In 1999 we decided to make the photo booth our public art laboratory and made a pact to take one photo booth strip every week for five years. As the weeks turned into years, we continued to enter photo booths all over the world and experimented with everything from traditional portraiture to stop motion animation; we created comic strips, puppet shows, and installation art works. We were often challenged with inconsistent lighting and poor quality developing chemicals and always restricted by the three metronomic seconds between each shot and the limited depth of field. The Photobooth Project is an interactive touring exhibition and an installation that invites the public to produce their own photo booth strip.
Misster Dean met Ms Teen at a Brisbane film school in 1993 but it wasn’t until they reunited in London in 1999 that they began working together. Their first collaboration was a queer super-8 film called Bunnygirl, which travelled international festival circuits and marked the start of The Photobooth Project. Moving to New York in 2000, the artists created another super-8 film, Mama Simmy’s Roadtrip. This cult film screened with success in queer film festivals in New York, London, Berlin and Sydney. On their return to Australia, they produced Peripheral Vision, a time-based film installation for St Kilda Film Festival and produced several more super-8 films. Misster Dean made a short film Katfite, which was selected for MUFF in 2004 and The Photobooth Project was also completed in the same year. The following year, Misster Dean & Ms Teen were invited to participate in a travelling exhibition through Europe. Currently residing in Melbourne, Misster Dean and Ms Teen continue to collaborate on queer time-based installations and short films.
On show at Majorca from 1 – 25 September 2009
Majorca Building is located on the corner Centre Place & Flinders Lane, Melbourne
The September Shows are closing on Friday 25 September!
Featuring: Julie Shiels, Alyshia Boddenberg & Rebecca Delange, Simon O'Carrigan, Aaron Cooper & Ben Tarano, Misster Dean & Ms Teen.