Kulturlandschaft: Thoughts and readings on landscape

Kulturlandschaft: Thoughts and readings on landscape

Coined at the beginning of the 20th century by German geographer, Otto Schlüter, a term to described landscape created by human culture, I feel as if this term is even more relevant now, in the post-colonial, late-capitalist Anthropocene, where almost everywhere on earth bears the marks of human habitation, through climate change and environmental residues of human activities.

From an art- historical perspective, Simon Scharma puts his stake in the ground-

Landscapes are culture before they are nature; constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and water and rock…once a certain idea of landscape, a myth, a vision, establishes itself in an actual place, it has a peculiar way of muddling categories, of making metaphors more real than their referents; of becoming, in fact, part of the scenery [p. 61].

Simon Scharma, Landscape and Memory

 

It follows from this that if Landscape and Memory is a book about places, it is also about people and their socially constructed ideas of places, and turning ‘Nature’ (such a contested term when talking about land) into Landscape, conccuring with Leverbre’s created spatial theory.

 

And yet, somewhat less poetically, and more anthropogenically from Rebecca Solnit;

…We forget that battlefields are one kind of landscape and that most landscapes are also territories…on the small scale they involve real estate and sense of place, on the large scale they involve nationalisms, war, and the grounds for ethnic identity…(the landscape is) not just where we picnic but also where we live and die. It is where our food, water, fuel, and minerals come from, where our nuclear waste and s— and garbage go to, it is the territory of dreams, somebody’s homeland and somebody’s gold mine.

Rebecca Solnit, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, 2001

And finally;

In The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing takes as a pivot point the Matsutake mushroom, the most valuable mushroom in the world, yet also a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere, a process she calls auto-rewilding (in reference to the movement of re-wilding- reintroducing top predators into reserves and parks to re-balance the ecosystem). Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. Tsing follows these contradictions to ask what manages to live in the ruins we have made- the Anthropogenic Kulturlandschaft.

penelope cain

Dust for the future

penelope cain

Dust for the past

Above: In progress video, documenting bio-mapping of lead residue in the landscape around Broken Hill. This video was an outcome of a residency at the Broken Hill Artist Exchange, 2018.

 

 

 

Two-Up in Ideas Platform, Artspace

Two-Up has been curated into a show at the Ideas Platform, Artspace.

Harriet Body, Penelope Cain, Shireen Taweel and Hannah Toohey have worked closely with Artspace curators through a series of studio visits and mentored exchanges over the past three months. This process has culminated in a group exhibition in Artspace’s Ideas Platform, co-curated by Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor, Curator Talia Linz, Curatorial Assistant Lola Pinder and Parramatta Studios Coordinator Sophia Kouyoumdjian. 

Opening: Wednesday 8 November, 6pm

Exhibition Dates: 9 November – 9 December, 2017

43 – 51 Cowper Wharf Road
Wolloomooloo, Sydney

https://www.artspace.org.au/program/ideas-platform/2017/parramatta-artists-studios-exhibition-2017/

Penelope Cain Two-Up

Two-Up, 2017 Installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace UV-cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, fabric, trimmings, wood 130 x 190 cm

Two-Up  is part of an ongoing line of investigation reflecting broadly on the politics and spatiality of occupation and territory. This investigation engages with the spatiality of colonialism and sovereignty, both old and new, formal and informal, and consider to differing degrees Australia’s history and contemporary resource politics.

The work follows on from Undermine, currently exhibited in the Fishers Ghost Exhibition, Campbelltown Art Gallery. Both works pivot from a small painting by a nineteenth century former-convict and amateur artist, George Peacock, in the State Library Collection. The painting looks along Sydney Harbour, encompassing a view of the emerging commerce and city of the colony, and was central to my previous exhibition, Profiteer Chic, at Artereal Gallery, July 2017, through its imagery and the historic and economic narratives it contained.

Penelope Cain Two-Up

Two-Up, detail, 2017 UV-cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, 100x 130

This new work takes the form of a semicircular work on linen, with fibreglass and acrylic printed shadows of two oil rigs occupying the harbour.  Using the positive and negative silhouettes was an attempt to imply a temporal rupture- I’m repeatedly drawn to the material potential for the fibreglass mesh to give a ghosting or after image like effect- like the image burned on eyelids from looking.

A semicircular netting and fabric pennant resting underneath the linen work, to form a broken circle shape. In making this pennant or banner form, I wanted to imply a form of hegemonic power, with overt references to sovereign flags and religious or military regalia, and even loosely to tribal masks, with the silhouette of two gambling chips, like bilateral eyes.

In making this pennant, using fabrics more often associated with dance or burlesque, I was thinking about the performability of commerce, politics and power in the urban landscape, and from a formal aspect, experimenting with modes of expanding the 2-D painting surface.

 

Installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace

 

Penelope Cain Tenure

Tenure, 2017 Poles, fabric, coreflute, rope, cement cast sandcastles Provisional installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace

Welcome: temporary guerrilla turfing

I have an ongoing interested in landscape in its widest term, and am drawn to tracing the narratives of space and place that are embedded in the encultured landscape. But I keep getting drawn back to notions of power and its presence in physical and economic spaces of the city.

The council near my studio recently installed some antiterrorism blocks in front of a public square. The square is at a pedestrian crossroad, both a resting and transit space, near a busy road. It was previously a visually and physically open place, in the middle of a highly multicultural community. The line of blocks created a physical dotted line de-marking the square; not there one day, there the next.

I was torn- recognising the risk, acknowledging terrible events that have occurred in public spaces in other countries, but saddened by the physical, cultural and psychological closure that these blocks created. I felt it was necessary to respond on behalf of the city that I knew.

The response was a series of cut turf rectangles, bearing spray-painted elements of the word ‘welcome’: welcome/ we come/ well come/  we me/ we

 

In collaboration with Artist Kalanjay Dhir we installed these turf rectangles on top of the antiterrorism blocks in a 6 am guerilla art exercise in the suburban stillness of a mild spring morning. They remained on site for 4 days, and were subsequently removed by council clean-up team. These photos document their presence. The blocks remain.

New work, finalist Fishers Ghost Award, Campbelltown Gallery

Undermine is a finalist in the Fishers Ghost Award, at the Campbelltown Art Centre, from 3rd Nov- 15th December, 2017.

Penelope Cain Undermine

Undermine, 2017 UV cured digital print on linen, fibreglass mesh, dyed rooster feathers, fabric, wood, plaster reinforced sandcastles, tape

Undermine pivots from a small painting by a nineteenth century former-convict and amateur artist, George Peacock. The painting looks along Sydney Harbour, encompassing a view of the emerging commerce and city of the colony, and was central to my previous exhibition, Profiteer Chic, at Artereal Gallery, July 2017.

In Undermine I have used fragments from this colonial landscape to photoshop a between-image, with an overlay of fibreglass mesh, depicting two oil rigs.

The linen work is framed by two fabric and feather banner forms, one of which rests on a pile of plaster-reinforced sandcastles.

In this work I was reflecting on ideas around extractive economics and colonialism, both old and new. I am also interested in territorialism and sovereignty- formal versus provisional and vernacular forms of spatial occupation. The expanded installation structures reflect on this interest.  When I was a child I shared the great Australian summer holiday experience at the beach- spending days by the beach umbrella, building small termporary cities of sandcastles, complete with seaweed flags and gumnut boats. Some of this spatial play is reflected in this work.

Fisher’s Ghost Art Award

Finalist in the Glenfiddich Art Prize and Residency

Super excited to be a finalist in the Glenfiddich Art Prize and Residency, Australia and New Zealand, with an exhibition of finalists at Sydney Contemporary. The 5 finalists, from over 180 applications are:

Belem Lett, Elyse De Valle, Hiromi Tango and Craig Walsh, Lillian O’Neil, and Penelope Cain

Yield 2017. UV cured digital print on linen, fibreglass mesh, feathers, fabric, wood, trimmings, PVC forms, sequins, coreflute. Installation view, 2.4 m x 2 m

This work continues my ongoing interest in landscape in its widest terms, and in particular the politics of place and space-  the conjunction of power, money, land and ownership.

 

This installation, Yield, assembles around the central work on linen (Proposition Towards the Northern Tops (Yield), which was a finalist in the Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, 2016.
This work is framed symmetrically by draped fabric banners, and flanked to one side by a cluster of vernacular markers and wayfinders.  Three sequin-covered PVC rats appear to crouch in a ratking on top of a gold fabric covered box.
In this work I wanted to explore the breadth and porosity around ideals of sovereignty(of land, occupation and power)- including formal and resistance, vernacular and classical.

 

 

‘Profiteer Chic’ @ Artereal Gallery 5-29th July

Profiteer Chic

Artereal gallery,  747 Darling Street Rozelle.

Opening 5th July and continuing until 29th July.

This series of works is an extension from a body of work undertaken from 2016 which included Upsell (image:here), which was included in View @ Artereal Gallery, curated by Barbara Dowse and acquired by Artbank, and Yield (Proposition for a Panorama Towards the Northern Top) (image:here) a finalist in the Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, and Peak, (image:here) a current finalist in the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, until mid July.

Profiteer Chic takes as its starting point a single small painting by a nineteenth century, Sydney based former-convict and amateur artist, George Peacock. The painting looks along Sydney Harbour from Garden Island, towards the emerging city. The artist was a middleclass English convict; a lawyer transported for the white collar crime of document forgery, which he undertook to fund the appearance of success in his community[1]. The contemporary manifestations of the themes contained within this small painting are reflected in all the works in the show.

Profiteer Chic, installation view, Artereal gallery, Sydney, 2017

While undertaking initial research for Profiteer Chic, I was drawn to this small painting because it appeared to bracket the marks of colonialism, economy and trade, between the ships, soldiers and emerging city of Sydney. This single image offered potential to negotiate  thoughts on the contemporary manifestations of these concerns, through the history of Australian colonisation. This path also allowed potential to integrate my ongoing interest in notions of the landscape sublime/ anti-sublime, alongside an increasing interest in the politics of urban space.

I was especially interested in mapping the territory between historic colonialism, as seen in the British ‘settlement’ of Australia, with it’s hierarchies of power, control of trade, assumptions of ownership and abuse of authority, to contemporary acts of economic colonialism undertaken by global corporations, in particular those operating within Australia. 

The term ‘extractive economies’ was brought to light by Acemoglu and Robinson (2)  in describing the national economies that base their productivity on non-renewable resources (such as oil and gas), and where there is a tendency for consolidation of the obtained income into the hands of the few rather than redistributed for national good.

penelope Cain Amazon

The day that Amazon Came to Town, 2017. PCV shape, sequins, mega-glitter. 32 x 9 cm

In my research I wanted to test the notion that extractive economics is in fact another version of colonialism. In this I drew on imagery such as deep-sea oil rigs, monocle telescopes and oval portrait frames. The title of the exhibition is a tongue-in-cheek riff on this line. That there is a chic to making profit goes without saying in the contemporary economic environment, yet I’m interested in the slight tarnish to the word ‘chic’ , and tried to play this up with the use of mini-discoballs, glass beads and sequins.

penelope cain profiteer chic

Profiteer Chic 2017. UV cured digital print on linen, glass beads. 93 x 130 cm

I see this body of work partly as a process of mapping of the terrain I’ve described above, and partly as a type of testing of the proposition. It is equally, though, a small act of resistance. I am deeply concerned by the environmental and economic vandalism surrounding the Adarni mine development, the ease with which corporations such as BHP, Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell avoid paying tax and royalties for oil, gas and mineral extraction in Australia.

penelope cain pump it up

Pump it up and just keep dancing, 2017 uv cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, dyed rooster feathers, thread, pencil. 130 x 133 cm

 

Pump It Up (Detail)

In Pump It Up And Just Keep Dancing two oil rigs are overlaid into a small fragment of Peacock’s scene of Sydney Harbour. They are intentionally shaped to reference the sails of the trade ships in the harbour. I keep returning to fibreglass mesh as a material because of its shadowy present/ absent effect- it looks like a negative or after-image, yet is so materially present on top of the linen. The two figures on the left side have been reworked from the original painting so that they appear to be looking at the rigs.

Profiteer Chic (detail) UV cured digital print on linen, glass beads.

In Profiteer Chic I used a slice from Peacocks work to create an even tighter view along the harbour, adding more ships, and created a circular hole in the middle of the canvas, with a second layer glued underneath. I wanted to create an idea of looking through a telescope, much like the view from the captain’s brig. I was striving to refer to notions of power of land ownership implicit through the history of European landscape art. The text “profiteer chic’ is covered in glass beads so it glistens on top of the image.

penelope cain

Ballsy (from the Anatomy of Power series) , 2017. Disco balls, nylon netting, telescope, microbeads, ribbon. Approx 40 x 9 x 8 cm. Installation view.

The telescope and the act of power through the gaze is again drawn on in #45 (from the Anatomy of Power series), where a childrens telescope, covered in glittery microbeads is paired with net-covered discoballs to look a little bit like male genitalia. In using the microbeads I was hoping for a material effect that looked bit like crusted sand or even slightly crusty skin cells. The title refers obliquely to Donald Trump (president #45), the ultimate profiteer.

Business As Usual 2017. UV cured digital print on linen, glass beads. Triptych installation view

 

 

For the last 2-3 years I have been using the technique of referencing, reflecting and collaging historic landscapes combined with flyscreen mesh and feathers to navigate my interest in the built urban landscape, notions of ‘the city’ and the nodes of economic and spatial power that occur in the city and urban environment (ie the politics of urban space). I am also interested in notions of the landscape sublime, and how it permits the potential for the anti-sublime. In this I reference Robert Smithson and his ‘Tour of the Monuments of Passiac’.

Through all my work this year I have become increasingly interested in the propositional performability of commerce within the city, and its gendered nuances. I hope to pursue this further in new research.

 

Geroge Peacock, Sydney From Garden Island, 1846, State Library NSW

 [1] G.E. Peacock, Trove Database, National Library of Australia http://trove.nla.gov.au/people/615693
[2] “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty” by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.

Finalist, Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award

 PEAK has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, opening friday 19th.

This work is one of 90 finalists, selected from over 850 applications.

@ Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, 782 Kingsway, Gymea NSW, 20th May- 16th July 2017.

PEAK (installation view) , 2017 photocopy pasteup, fabric, pole, feathers, beads, cord. 1.8 w x 2.2

This work takes as its pivot point a 19th century lithograph of the Blue Mountains, by landscape painter Eugene von Guerard, to ask questions around forms of economics and power in the city, through the lens of the European history of landscape art, notions and values of the sublime in art, and British colonisation.

Collaging the shadow of a scaffolded highrise onto the top of the Blue Mountains panorama recontextualises and provisionally updates the depicted landscape, reflecting the contemporary housing gold rush in urban Australia, and the rush to expand to undeveloped land. The work co-opts the gesturing male figure in von Guerard’s orginal work (commonly included in romantic sublime landscapes of the era), to reflect on gestures of ownership of land, in particular gendered ownership and the performance of the economy.

The quasi-symbolic banner in mesh and fabric ambiguously conflates references to marches and parades or even more darkly, rituals and rites, with the actions of commerce and urban development, including the holey dollar symbol of Macquarie Bank (originally from Governor Macquarie’s counter punched Spanish silver coins), gold and brass bugle beads and black strung roster feathers.

The work ambiguously twists the materiality of ‘the street’ and resistance, to reveal the power status quo- banks, property development and other hegemonic power nodes.

Detail: PEAK pasteup, 2017

 

Holey dollar, New South Wales, 1813 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holey_dollar

This work is, to a degree, a small act of resistance and is part of an ongoing interest in slippages, power and performance of commerce within the city.

 

Eugene von Guerard, Wetherboard Falls, lithograph, (State Library NSW). This image was part of a printed folio of landscape panoramas around NSW and Victoria sold to colonists and exported to Britain at the time.

HOWLING AT THE MOON…. @ Artereal Gallery

New work at Artereal Gallery opened 7th Sept….

HOWLING AT THE MOON is a paired pasteup and a flyscreen mesh work on linen operating in dialogue between the street and the gallery.

http://artereal.com.au/

7th Sept- 1st Oct

Artereal Gallery

747 Darling Street, Rozelle

HOWLING AT THE MOON detail

HOWLING AT THE MOON installation detail, photocopy pasteup, 2016

2016 seems to have shaped up as a year of geopolitical anxiety. Locally and globally events have been occurring that are unhappy, unanticipated, inexplicable or unwanted. The politics of a double dissolution, Brexit, Trumpism, ISIS- the list goes on.

Initially in response to the increasingly anxious events I tried to disengage and stop paying attention- to *unsubscribe* and instead engage with human interest narratives, word plays and even kitten videos.

Instead, after the kitten videos finished I found myself watching animal fights and politicians’  shenanigans. So I decided to metaphorically pick the scab, and make a work about the current moment of anxiety in contemporary culture, a response to the seemingly irreconcilable conflicting forces in society, politics and the economy.

HOWLING AT THE MOON is this work.

howling install smaller

HOWLING AT THE MOON installation view. Photocopy pasteup, 3.2x 1.5m, 2016

 

In this lo-fi pasteup, using images from the internet and sourced photos, the (human) hands of a clock, constructions sites, politicians and traffic jams are circumscribed by police, armies and shamanic raven feathers. This half moon of anxiety is flanked by a chained wolf and a caged dingo, howling from the outside to that within.

 

buy in smaller

Buy In Sell Out fibreglass mesh, fabric, spraypaint, feathers, thread on linen, 70 x 100CM, 2016

The paired work, Buy-In-Sell-Out is made from fibreglass mesh, spraypaint and black feathers, on linen, and uses related imagery- rendering a juxtaposition of wolf and bear heads, snake skeletons, building scaffolding and fragments of jewellery in fibreglass mesh, combined with theatrically shamanic black feathers and a spray paint gash. The text, ‘buy in’ and the matching title, has an intentional dual meaning- referring both to straightforward and common fiscal transaction/s, or an emotional response- being sold a story.

 

buy in DETAIL

Buy In Sell Out: detail

buy in sell out installation

Buy In Sell Out Installation image

 

Finalist in the Sulman Prize, 2016, Art gallery of NSW

Proposition for a panorama towards the northern top (Yield) is a finalist in the prestigious Sulman Prize 2016, opening at the Art Gallery of NSW, opening Friday 15th July.

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/sulman/2016/

sulman finalist

Proposition for a Panorama Towards the Northern Tops (Yield) acrylic paint, pencil, UV cured digital print, fibreglass mesh, feathers, thread on linen 174 x 172 cm, 2016.

This work is part of an ongoing line of enquiry looking loosely at the contemporary urban landscape and incorporating a series of ongoing themes that I am interested in-  power nodes and landscape of ‘the city’, the gendered performance of capitalism, and propositionally ascribing elements of the shamanic and dark magic to the apparently rational ‘economy’.

This work, Proposition for a panorama towards the northern top (Yield) , 2016, takes as its pivot point the famous nineteenth century painting  ‘North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko’ by Eugene von Guérard, and reworks a segment using digital and physical collage with paint, pencil, fiberglass mesh and feathers. I have uses this point of reference to the history of sublime  landscape in Euro-colonial art to look at the opaque  nexus of land ownership, power and money in the city.

yield_2016_small

In this work I strove to interweave references to the current Australian apartment boom, contestability of publicly owned land and ideas around how the economy is ‘performed’, along with (shamanically) theatrical black feathers, ribbon and mesh. The text ‘yield’ intentionally refers to both economic returns and an act of penitent (and almost Biblical) submission- offering a proposition for their dissonant meaning in the battle for land, money and power.

The iconic painting of Mt Kosciusko seemed to be an amazingly appropriate work to open for reconsideration and to use as a pivot point for this investigation, and I have used it previously in a large-scale pasteup/ wall drawing for Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, 2015. German-born Eugene von Gerard traveled widely in Australia and painted his romantic views of the Australian landscape through a late-colonial frame of reference. His sublime, wide landscapes, occasionally peopled with white settlers or Aboriginal locals stretches out beyond their frames. The Romantic notion of the Sublime within art history was in part a reaction to industrialisation and a loosening of the ties of religion and broadening of notions of humanism within the wider world. Nature was rediscovered as larger, wilder and more spiritually profound than previously noticed. And within this broader timeframe, in a safer Europe, wealthier Europeans traveled, and the idea of the panorama was developed in response, commodifying the experience of nature- to souvenir the views seen and experiences had, or to view for the first time, for those that could not afford to travel.

The wider long-term investigation takes as a starting point a text by (American land artist) Robert Smithson, from his project, “The Monuments of Passaic” (1967), in which he identified the decaying ‘ruins in reverse’ and ‘zero panoramas’, in describing the unromantic, anti-sublime, urban, industrial service-town near New York. In this text Smithson critically conflates the urban landscape with the outcome of macroeconomic actions, the romantic notion of the sublime and the ruin, and a glitching of the expected linearity of time. In this Smithson offers a propositional shattering of our rational expectations of urban landscape and the economy.

Works in this series include:

Upsell, 2016, exhibited at Artereal Gallery 2016 and acquired by Artbank

Trickle Down, 2015, curated into ‘Creative Accounting’, curated by Holly Williams and currently touring regional NSW.

Spirit Houses, 2016, finalist in the Chippendale New World Art Prize, May 2016.

Proposition for a Panorama Towards the Northern Top, 2015, Hazelhurst Work on Paper Award.

detail cars

Detail: Sewn fibreglass mesh

 

kosciusco scaffolding2

Work in progress: Building things to look over things

Creative Accounting curated by Holly Williams

I have 3 works in ‘Creative Accounting’ curated by Holly Williams.

Asking a very current curatorial question, ‘Creative Accounting’ explores ideas around money, economic systems, perceived value and the aesthetics of currency, at a time when money is becoming increasingly abstract. Currently open at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, until 10th July, the exhibition will tour to six venues across Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

Artists include: Fiona Hall, David Shapiro, Conrad Bakker, Ian Burns, Penelope Cain, Joachim Froese, Melanie Gilligan, Andrew Hurle, Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre, Daniel McKewen, Christine McMillan, Kenzee Patterson, Ryan Presley, David Shapiro and Abdullah M.I. Syed, Jess Olivieri & Haley Forward with the Parachutes for Ladies.

http://www.thecuratorsdepartment.com/creative-accounting-upcoming/

 

Penelope Cain growth at all costs

Growth at all Costs 2015/2016 fibreglass mesh, dyed feathers, sequins, rubber, thread, pins each approx 100 x 130 cm

Growth at all Costs is a two-part quasi- casting or manifestion, a tongue in cheek attempt at dark magic action towards the economy. Thinking about regalia, banners, crests, religion, military and governance, these wall works are formed from shapes of new buildings, boats, trucks and other evident forms of economic activity.  The work follows a half-formed question around the performability of commerce.

 

penelope cain growth at all costs

Installation view, Albury regional gallery, 2017

 

trickle down install1

‘Trickle Down’, 2016, installation view, digital print on Phototex, flyscreen mesh, feathers, rubber, fabric, sequins.

Trickle Down uses as a pivot point a 19th century lithograph by Eugene von Guerard of the Weatherboard Falls, Blue Mountains, to reflect on contemporary urban economic principles and truisms.The theory of trickle down economics was a linchpin of Reganomics and Thatcher era policies, positing that tax breaks to the wealthy will be spent, ultimately trickling down to the poor, instead of giving the tax breaks directly to the most needy. In this work I have collaged images of urban productivity- apartments, cranes and traffic-jammed cars over von Guerard’s sublime Blue Mountains landscape. Von Guerard’s figure in the lower right corner (channelling Casper David Frederick’s male observer to the natural sublime), is backed by 3 Australian flags, sourced from Tony Abbott’s media appearances.

The work incorporates a series fo ongoing themes that I am interested in- the gendered performance of capitalism, post-collonial notions of land and land ownership, and propositionally ascribing elements of the sharmanic and dark magic to the apparently rational ‘economy’.

In this wider line of enquiry I have taken as a starting point a text by (American land artist) Robert Smithson, from his project, “The Monuments of Passaic” (1967), in which he identified the decaying ‘ruins in reverse’ and ‘zero panoramas’, in describing the unromantic, anti-sublime, urban, industrial service-town near New York. I am repeatedly drawn to Smithson’s critical conflation of the urban landscape with the outcome of macroeconomic actions, the romantic notion of the sublime and the ruin, and a glitching of the expected linearity of time. In this Smithson offers a propositional shattering of our rational expectations of urban landscape and the economy.

(Smithson’s essay here…)

 

trickle down detail smaller

Trickle Down detail of wall installation, 2016.