13th January - 31st January 2020
Opening 6pm Wednesday 13th January
Image: Andrea Srisurapon, “Wash”(detail), 2018, Pigment print on resin coated photo paper Photo courtesy of the artist
Dominic Byrne, Frankie Chow, Navid Ghezelayagh, Martin James, Hanadi Saleh, and Andrea Srisurapon, curated by Andrew Christie and Brigitte Gerges.
Splitting | Sides brings young emerging artists, from diverse cultural backgrounds and perspectives, to present refreshing and nuanced approaches to the issue of cultural disparity. These artists - through their own techniques of deception, absurdity, humour and play - attempt to access more constructive relationships with competing universalities where notions of centre and periphery short circuit and fold upon themselves. Brought to the fore of postmodern theory by Jacques Derrida, the concept of the pharmakon – the Greek term for both ‘poison’ and ‘medicine’ - is one way of expressing how these artists address the complexities of cultural disparity in Australia. Each artist compliments the other as they embrace the failure of artistic translation and appropriation within the confines of culture. This never ending battle for foundational restructuring is fought for the ethical necessity of it, if not anything else. They move us towards new and imaginative avenues for the collision of these competing universalities. Through a form of artistic alchemy, cultural poisons display their more valuable medicinal capacities
Curators Andrew Christie and Brigitte Gerges bring these artists together out of the common judgment that Australia is in need for more cathartic, critically aware and confrontationally multifaceted approaches to the very poignant issues surrounding the interaction of cultures. Dominic Byrne calls on his role as a “disembodied performer”, as he puts it, comically struggling to reconfigure the current modes of representation surrounding the self. Frankie Chow also employs performance, instead confronting the audience with racial slurs relating to her own Chinese heritage, addressing the unsavoury nature of abuse to minorities while exercising the ability to laugh at a custom in order to correct it. Navid Ghezelayagh sculpturally deals with the consideration of time in the act of migration; both as a necessity when fleeing and searching for new lands and as time standing still, the act of migration placing its participants in an interstitial space of infinite possibility and dire uncertainty. Drawing on his extensive printmaking and sculptural experience, Martin James re-appropriates familiar icons of the Australian visual landscape in a critique of contemporary politics and the corruption of the middle class ideas of egalitarianism and equity. Hanadi Saleh reinvigorates the formal qualities of Islamic calligraphy, creating ambiguous and glamorous sculptural representations of such motifs that, while blatantly referring to Islamic culture, do not anchor themselves within any specific linguistic confines. Andrea Srisurapon aligns herself with the reverberating and hybrid identities of her family. Whether having her mother join her in reciting a controversial passage taken from a speech by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson or literally having the yellow colour washed off her face as if to reveal the true identity underneath its false facade, Srisurapon epitomises the elasticity of cultural identity and universality
Andrew Christie would like to thank Waverley Council for their ongoing assistance
Photos by Docqment
MOP Projects is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW
Image: Camilla Cassidy Chrome 1984, 2019
Acrylic & chalkboard paint, chalk, collage on canvas
(2x) 200cm x 130cm, (2x) 100cm x 100cm
House of Mnemonic
Cassidy’s paintings offer a visual vocabulary illustrative of tensions inherent in binary oppositions such as void versus light; material versus immaterial; spectral versus concrete; past versus present. She chooses to focus on these indeterminate spheres for they metaphorically point us toward the indefinite locus of memory.
Chasing the Cartesian dream of an objective, rational world has proven elusive – we have learned to traditionally fix shadows in the lexicon of photography and painting, but not to secure their meaning or stabilise their truth values. In this vein, Camilla’s painting’s depict volumetric, internalised spaces representative of memory where she enlists a part diagrammatic and part abstracted approach in order to harness space’s symbolic capital.
Camilla Cassidy is currently a PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts. She has held residencies at the Goethe-Institut, Berlin, Artspace, Sydney, shown at IMA, Brisbane, AGNSW, and commercial galleries in Sydney and Berlin.