Like conceptual definitions of the mind the Australian landscape will always mystify, intrigue, and consume a vast part of our meanderings as we journey through our place in time. Whether background or foreground, this landscape appears to stretch on forever. Here definition is guided by where we stand and what we choose to frame with our own thoughts and senses. It is home, and ultimately our understanding of a sense of place provides a framework to decipher any meaning from life. Our landscape is intense, riddled with tributaries and tablelands of historyís fallen and recorded stories. In partnership with the sky, this land records all its stories, and with the images recorded here, in Together Forever Tonight, Craig Bender provides unsolicited memories and moments from which we can adjust our own frames of reference and speculate about what both past and future hold. Whatever our conclusions, light, atmosphere and landmarks continue to clearly dictate our reading of place and ultimately our understanding of scenes. Our landscape will immerse us, but first let us immerse ourselves with it.
Adrian Davies, 2008.
Image above: Untitled 2008
H O B O P H O B I A
Retired boxer - formally known as Patrick Swann, postulates on life after art. Armed with only his wit, he finds himself down and out with the pidgeons. However, amidst this bleak tableau, Swann's closest confidant and beacon of hope is unveiled for the first time - The Rat With The Heart of Phar Lap.
image above: Hobophobes
Sound: high but not shrill tones. Major key. Medium volume, if anything rather soft. Flute, clarinet, piano; chirping, twittering, tremolo. Cheerful. Relaxed.
Place: sand, dunes; by the sea. In the south.
Time: spring, in the morning (or evening?)
A plentitude of sunshine; with a light, cool breeze (Extra Version). Mist through which the sun is breaking (Intro Version).
-from the catalogue to the exhibition at the Gallery Denise René / Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf, 1972.
My latest venture into the world of art-nerdism comes in the form of Colour Sounds, a study of a series of work by Swiss artist Karl Gerstner during the 1960’s and 70’s. A student of Max Bill and co-founder of the GGK advertising group who created corporate identities for Swiss Air and IBM, Karl Gerstner worked also as an artist whose art projects were alarmingly earnest investigations into the physical and psychological effectual possibilities of colour.
The Colour Sounds series were effectively esoteric homages to Joseph Albers’ Homage to the Square. Gerstner says,“Albers starts with the material. He probes into colour, experiments with it, is prepared to be surprised by what he finds. Albers is a finder. Albers never mixes his colours, he uses the colour tones just as they come out of the tube.”
He says of own work, “I always mix colours. I start with the idea. I imagine to myself the effect of the colour: its specific “sound”. Then I seek the tones which will allow me to realize this image. I am a seeker.”
“Each Colour Sound is originates in the idea of a union of sound and colour. In moments of euphoria the result might be seen -or heard- as the music of the spheres in the cosmos of the colours.”
I will present my own remake of Colour Sound 7C. My version hopes to surpass even the glory and euphoria of Gernstner’s original as embedded in its materiality are the dynamic aesthetics of the contemporary hardware-store experience. This glory and euphoria presents itself by virtue of the fact that when we shop we buy not only what we need but also a part of ourselves that is missing or lacking. The transparency of the readymade-ness of this work’s materiality replaces the craft-ness of Gerstners Colour Sounds.
Shunning the finishes of ‘fine-art’ surface my Colour Sound will deliver a finish that will reorientate the visual art experience to one that is more fitting to the modern age: toward an acknowledgement that behind every individual is a post Fordist machine capable of loose mastery of any system to the betterment of his or her own empire.
This project is dedicated to any contemporary practitioner who has taken up the challenge of the modern age, by playing out the game of de-specialization and mass-alienation of contemporary labour. This project embraces the sublimity of low-grade industrial aesthetics. Thus, as a badge of our status as eternal amateurs, Colour Sounds is a badge of the now and aspires to create into a void. I, like Gerstner, begin with the idea. But, unlike Gerstner, I am a master of nothing and take my colours straight from the tube.
-Alex Lawler, Sydney, July 2008
Colour Sound 7C
Intro Version, 1968/71
Nitrocellulose on phenolic resin plates
1180 x 1180 framed
Colour Sounds, Installtaion View, 2008
Colour Sounds, Installtaion View, 2008
This project supported by
Doyle's Carpet Court, 77 Paramatta Rd., Five Dock.