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SCA GRADUATE SCHOOL

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The home of postgraduate study in contemporary art at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
SOJOURN, Graduate School Gallery Program, April 16 - May 2 

For the second exhibition in the 2014 Graduate School Gallery program, PhD candidate Richard Kean has turned the gallery into a walkable labyrinth as part of his research into architecture’s effect on the body and the self as a psychic/physical whole.

My thesis is titled The Resonant Room, and looks at aural string installation. I’m researching the various contingencies of this medium, which is often concerned with architectural (and so by default) political imperatives in relation to context. I’m also interested in the participatory nature of aural strings. We live in a participatory community after all, so I’m looking at these greater themes on a micro level..

This installation starts with the labyrinth. I’ve presented the archetype of the labyrinth as a spiral, which is the most basic form that could be deemed a labyrinth, although I think the insinuations are endless. But in this show I’m basically building the experiential aspect of the spiral. The walls of the spiral mimic gallery walls in their look and feel, but they are curved and rotational and anthropomorphic compared to the typical architecture of the gallery. Also they have an aural potential in that they are amplified with contact microphones. When a visitor taps the wall the sound floods the space in one way or another rather than being localised to that area specifically, and the pitch changes as you move into the heart of the spiral. The work says something about the spiraling nature of sound and the quiet politics of expression. The most important aspect is the spiral though, and it is to be experienced. It can be profound to walk a spiral, I have found, when you’ve done nothing but walk the grid your whole life whenever in the built environment. 

Sojourn floor plan

The physical process and installation has been a challenge. It can hardly be prototyped. It has to be built in the gallery. You need help. This equals long hours each day building, sorting problems, and making adjustments during an ever diminishing timeframe. The only reason I was able to do something like this is because I had adequate install time, help, and a workshop in close proximity. 
 
But the dimensions of the gallery suit the project and its always nice to work with a curator (for better or worse). This time I think we were on the same page - the work hasn’t needed to change conceptually, just in its material construction and process of construction. The construction methods have changed several times even though the form of the thing hasn’t!

'Sojourn' opens in the Graduate School Gallery at 6pm Wednesday 16 April

The show runs from March 14 - April 4, Monday - Friday, 11am - 5pm.

— 1 week ago
#graduate school gallery  #PhD  #exhibitions  #richard kean 
THE MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA, Graduate School Gallery Program, March 13 - April 4

The first exhibition in the 2014 Graduate School Gallery program is James Nguyen’s The Man with the Movie Camera, a series of auto-biographical works that explore the complicity of documentation in performance.

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Tell us bit about your practice and your MFA project…

My focus changes depending on what I am interested in or annoyed by at the time! I was a painter and then worked with installation, but when I started to dabble in some performance and video works I thought it might be a good idea to develop this further in my MFA. I was attracted to the history of film and began to engage with the language of cinema, so I started to play with the basic techniques of cinematography to incorporate these into performance actions. The performative potential of the camera became a new and fun project. 

What kind of ideas are you trying to investigate through this particular installation?

The main ideas are the integration and application of performance to the camera, and to engage with the social and political concerns of making art and making art happen. I like the directness of the camera, and its ability to document its own mechanical trace, how it introduces an whole new set of technical and human apparatus to the performance that it is actually meant to be documenting. 

I also like the aesthetics of relying on the help and collective effort of others to move the focus away from The Artist. Often the activities happening around me and the input of other people makes the work much more interesting than if I was working in isolation. I also like to acknowledge the many failures of performance and documentation that inevitably occur in my work; it often requires multiple attempts and takes before I achieve an acceptable result. 

What’s the process like?
 
Each night I add to a rolling list of “More Than One Idea A Day”. Influenced by my daily experiences and encounters, these ideas are mostly bad and unachievable. Every now and then, I review this list to see if there are any ideas that may be relevant to what I am thinking about, and if they make some sense. If it has potential, I create a workbook for the idea. I use these workbooks to flesh out the ideas, and talk to my supervisor and others about them. Once all the technical and boring parts are “thought” through, I do a quick test shot/model/sketch. From this visual sketch, I can decide to either defer/scrap the idea, or with further consultation and advice I’ll continue with it.

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I then ask my friends, family and colleagues to help me with the final work, and when all the people, and weather, and technical requirements line up, we go out and make the work together. 

Why did you apply for the Grad School Gallery Program this year?

It is a good opportunity (and motivator) to get work completed and to put work out there in an exhibition space. The great exhibitions of previous students, the potential for valuable feedback, and the process of curating were also important factors in my decision.

So how have you found the experience of working with a curator? Was there an effect on how you had envisioned the work and exhibition?

It has been fun and pretty straightforward experience. Fleshing out installation ideas, seeing my work from the professional perspective of the curator, reviewing and negotiating the exhibition parameters was a great learning experience. I have a pretty open and pragmatic attitude to the presentation of my work, so I’m happy as long as I have the opportunity to challenge and reconsider my work from a fresh point of view. 

'The Man With The Movie Camera', 'New Contemporaries' and 'Jose dos Santos' all open in the SCA Galleries complex on Thursday 13 March from 6 - 8pm. 

The shows run from March 14 - April 4, Monday - Friday, 11am - 5pm. 

Images courtesy James Nguyen

— 1 month ago with 1 note
#graduate school gallery  #mfa  #exhibitions  #james nguyen 
THE QUEER BODY (to be confirmed), Graduate School Gallery, 16 - 25 October 2013

The final exhibition in the 2013 Graduate School Gallery program, ‘THE QUEER BODY (to be confirmed)’ brings together the work of three students – MFA candidates Danica Knezevic and Jessica Sanders, and PhD candidate Jane Polkinghorne. Curated by Nicholas Tsoutas, ‘THE QUEER BODY’ explores representations of the female body in the process of transformation and in the context of fluid sexuality and queer identity. 

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Danica Knezevic, Dance with Me, video still, 2013

Let’s start with a brief description of your individual research projects and what you’re each working on…

 Jessica: I have been producing large-scale digital collages which explore concepts of identity and transformation, because I’m interested in pluralistic understandings of the self and how the conscious adoption of various specific identities can be used to communicate.

Danica: I’m really interested in the negotiation between what is visible and invisible. My work is influenced by psychoanalytical theory, particularly the process of mirroring in form identity and empathy.

Jane: My practice ranges across mediums and outcomes including digital imaging and photography, video, sculpture, performance, blogging and narrative film, frequently in collaboration. I use humour to respond to representation and as a feminist, bodily, humorous, interpretation of bodies, gender and the world.

 What kind of ideas are you trying to investigate through this particular installation?

Jane: Big Head is a reinterpretation of Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte’s 1935 painting La Viol (The Rape), replacing the objectified flattened feminine body-as-face with my own body parts as activated wobbling, real and hairy. The work plays with ideas of televisual representation of the feminine as un-idealised, as the body ‘looking back’ at the viewer and responding to the process of representation. It also is an attempt to undermine the brutality of the original work with its title La Viol calling up the idea of male gaze as violent and sexualised. Calling the work Big Head invokes the idea of a giant phallus as well as the idea of a giant wobbling woman looming over the viewer, but my version of La Viol giggles and slurps, laughing and ridiculing the sexual objectification of the gaze as implied by Magritte’s painting.

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— 6 months ago with 1 note
#graduate school gallery  #the queer body  #danica knezevic  #jessica sanders  #jane polkinghorne  #exhibitions 
MELTDOWN, Graduate School Gallery Program, July 10 - 26

The July Graduate School Gallery program incorporates two exhibitions: ‘Meltdown’, a solo show by Cybele Malinowski (MSA), and ‘Dystopia’, with work by Penny Cain (MFA) and Vilma Bader (PhD). ‘Meltdown’, a video installation, is a meditative study of the natural world in a state of flux, presenting two utopian scenes of ‘wilderness’ suffering their own ‘meltdown’.

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Tell us a little about your practice and your MSA project…

I have been a fashion, music and advertising photographer for almost 9 years now. Before that I studied architecture. Last year, after a surreal time in Chernobyl and Iceland, followed by several months of contemplation in hospital, I decided it was time to return to uni and develop the theoretical and philosophical side of my photography and film practice. After completing architecture at Sydney Uni, I had basically fallen into photography, without any formal training. I learned everything on the job. Photography really is a practical trade. It has been great coming back to uni with a full skill set, which has meant that I have been able to focus on the more abstract side of the discipline rather than being tied down by the technical details. After the first week of studying here I found myself staring at the sky for hours on end. It felt like my mind was wakening.

What kind of ideas are you trying to investigate through this particular installation?

The key reason for coming back to uni was to use my practical skills as a photographer to focus on a passion in my life that I still find difficult to articulate: the environment. It’s a hard subject to bring up at the dinner table, more contentious than politics. Because art is a ‘transitionary’ medium, I can work through my environmental and political ideas and ideals, and rather than alienating people, open up a dialogue about the future. Through juxtaposing these disparate scenes - one an abandoned street in Chernobyl, the second an iceberg in Iceland - I can ask questions about the complex relations between human and non-human elements. Side by side these two environments appear similarly alive, peaceful, eternal. One site suffered an instant and absolute atomic ‘end’, while the other slowly melts before our eyes.

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— 9 months ago
#graduate school gallery  #exhibitions  #MSA  #cybele malinowski 
DYSTOPIA, Graduate School Gallery Program, July 10 - 26

The July Graduate School Gallery program incorporates two exhibitions: ‘Meltdown’, a solo show by Cybele Malinowski (MSA), and ‘Dystopia’, with work by Penny Cain (MFA) and Vilma Bader (PhD). ‘Dystopia’ presents a vision of the city as fractured and economically differentiated, precarious, and occupied by banal, corporate noise that promises improvement but delivers commodification. Here, Penny Cain and Vilma Bader tell us a bit about their work in the project…

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Penny Cain, Unattended City view 1, (detail) 2013

Tell us a little about your practice …

Penny: I have been looking broadly at the concept of the city and the relationship between people and space in this built urban environment. I am interested in the meeting point between the functional, utilitarian and capitalist environments of the city and the contingent relationship between its inhabitants. Within my MFA studio project I have been looking at the potential for small sites of rupture within the city as sites to insert alternative narratives and hypotheses.

Vilma: My practice investigates personal and universal issues as framed by linguistics and semiotics, and questions the established systems of power, facts or beliefs. I hope to make the viewer aware of systems of interpretation or classification, encouraging them to consider, or reconsider, and question rather than merely accept the ‘official’ version. My PhD project repositions hysteria from the nexus of pathological surveillance to a cultural context as a condition of the modern psyche. I’d like to expand the notion of the hysteric portrait and its effects on art production while revealing the relationship between hysterical attributes as a subject of art as well as a guiding force for its production.

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Vilma Bader, Texting the City, (detail) 2013

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— 9 months ago
#graduate school gallery  #exhibitions  #PhD  #mfa  #vilma bader  #penny cain 

A selection of moments from Paul Mumme’s durational performance project DISSONANCE 3 (Try Not to Get Bored), undertaken every day from May 20 - 24. 

— 10 months ago
#dissonance  #paul mumme  #graduate school gallery  #exhibitions  #PhD  #performance 

Day 4 of DISSONANCE 2 (Five Studies in Unison)

(Source: vimeo.com)

— 11 months ago
#dissonance  #graduate school gallery  #exhibitions  #Julian Day  #performance 

 Day 5 of DISSONANCE 2 (Five Studies in Unison)

(Source: vimeo.com)

— 11 months ago
#dissonance  #graduate school gallery  #exhibitions  #Julian Day  #performance 

Day 3 of DISSONANCE 2 (Five Studies in Unison)

(Source: vimeo.com)

— 11 months ago with 1 note
#dissonance  #graduate school gallery  #exhibitions  #Julian Day  #performance 

 Day 2 of DISSONANCE 2 (Five Studies in Unison)

(Source: vimeo.com)

— 11 months ago
#graduate school gallery  #dissonance  #exhibitions  #Julian Day  #performance