13 September 2012

Crisis Complex @ Tin Sheds Gallery

Opening Friday 14 September 2012 at Tin Sheds Gallery in Sydney is Crisis Complex, curated by Laura McLean and Sumugan Sivanesan. The opening begins at 18:00 at 148 City Road, Darlington, NSW 2008 - those in town should be sure to check this show out, it's the hot ticket! (But if you can't make the opening the show runs through Saturday 13 October 2012.)

The original press release from early August went something like this:

Crisis Complex draws on a global network of artists to address our collective anxieties in an era marked by ecotastraphes, geopolitical antagonism, civic unrest, social fragmentation, and fiscal malaise. Entering the twenty-teens, humans negotiating uncertain futures during a period of spiritual scepticism and political mistrust are nevertheless engaged in a rhetoric of hope.

In examining this contradiction
Crisis Complex showcases a confusion of ethics and determinism from artists whose practices flourish in the wake of disaster. The exhibition of works on paper, performance, installation, moving image, and social exchange courts critical positions that range from a climate of incapacity to the politics of possibility.

However, as the crisis is never stagnant, the early September version goes a little differently:

We understand the present as an era governed by neoliberal and ecological concerns; a conflux of market and planetary forces whose irreconcilable differences elicit a moment of crisis, and its potential for resolve or rupture.

Artists’ strategies and their findings form part of a broad public inquiry into these conditions. They reveal a cynicism towards outmoded ideologies and instrumentalised politics, and an interest in spiritual and occult means as a way to navigate life in the ‘post-internet anthropocene’. We see an ongoing interest in social processes and activities that locate artists outside of the studio-gallery circuit such as hospitality, teaching and learning. We see the ironic production of art objects that self-critique their co-option into the commodity cycle or test the capacity/inescapability of neoliberal acculturation. We also see artists at work under these conditions, confronting their own subjectivities to enact and articulate new forms of sovereignty.

Crisis Complex calls upon art's claim of autonomy; as a return of the social, as an intellectual provocation and as a nascent political field.

There are some really exciting works in the show from some of Earth's very interesting contemporary artists, including: Heidi Axelsen & Hugo Moline, Ella Barclay, Carla Cescon, Edgar Cobián, Tony Garifalakis, Francesca Heinz, Lise Hovesen & Javier Rodriguez, Adam Norton, Joaquin Segura, Takayuki Yamamoto and theweathergroup_U.

In addition, there will be a catalogue which comprises an essay from the curators, images from each artist, and a text by me called 'Crisis Complex: text in three parts, out of time' (more on that later). The catalogue is printed by Sydney's fantastic Blood & Thunder publishing concern, and will be available from the gallery to an edition of 200.

Lastly - something I'm very excited for - as part of the program of events running parallel to the exhibition (see crisiscomplex.org for full infos) there will be a screening of The Otolith Group's video Anathema (2011) (courtesy of LUX) on Thursday 20 September at 19:00. This will be followed by a conversation with writer Mark Fisher (via video link), who is the author of Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Zero Books, 2009), which, by the way, I highly recommend to everyone!

Big congratulations to Laura and Sumugan for making this wonderful show happen, it's going to be great, and mega-thanks for getting me involved! Yay to all artists and to all at Tin Sheds! :)


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