Peter Alwast: Future Perfect

Peter Alwast mixes his mediums and metaphors. His work traverses drawing, painting, photography, installation, and computer animation. It incorporates the personal and the generic (family histories, political ideologies, psychoanalysis, poetry). Collapsing hygenic modernism into the romantic sublime, the mundane into the spectacular, his work can be mysterious, even confounding.

Art Exhibition previously on at IMA - Institute of Modern Art in Fortitude Valley precinct, Queensland, Australia.
From Saturday 20 August 2011 to Thursday 13 October 2011
Launch Saturday 20 August 2011, 5pm

Future Perfect image Future Perfect image

Published by Institute of Modern Art on Sunday 07 August 2011.
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As he says: ’I’m interested in combining systems of representation that never reconcile, that never create a stitched-up view of reality.’

Future Perfect opens at the IMA on Saturday 20 August at 5pm.

The title of Alwast’s new project refers the way future and perfect tenses are combined when we say something ‘shall have’ happened. Uncannily, the future perfect implies looking back on something that hasn’t happened yet. Alwast’s title also suggests a deranged, inverted version of the utopian idea of a ‘perfect future’.

The show is mostly video. There are eight projections of looped computer animations. Many of these feature what look like representations of sculptures in gallery spaces, including gyrating interpenetrating discs, bouncing coloured coffins, and jostling cardboard cubes covered in drawings. In one video a man and a woman walk towards one another, but never get together. As loops, the videos suggest perpetual motion but also stasis; there is no conclusion or resolution. Everything may be moving, but we never get anywhere. Time is simultaneously passing and standing still.

The show also includes a photographic installation—a seascape. Two large photographs of the ocean lie on the floor. At their horizon lines, the prints curve up onto the walls, playing on the difference between a literal and a metaphorical ‘horizon’. On the same walls, Alwast has hung stylised colour-perspex shapes, disrupting, complicating, or reframing the photographic illusionism stretching out below.

Peter Alwast is represented by Gallery 9, Sydney. His project was supported by an Australia Council grant.