OCTOPUS 11: THE MATTER OF AIR

Gertrude Contemporary is pleased to present Octopus 11: The Matter of Air. Running for over a decade, the annual Octopus exhibitions series offers a curator the opportunity to explore key ideas in current curatorial practice, experimenting with their methodology and opening up new possibilities for the discipline.

Art Exhibition previously on at Gertrude Contemporary in Fitzroy-Collingwood precinct, Victoria, Australia.
From Friday 26 August 2011 to Saturday 24 September 2011
Launch Friday 26 August 2011, 6-8pm

OCTOPUS 11: THE MATTER OF AIR image OCTOPUS 11: THE MATTER OF AIR image OCTOPUS 11: THE MATTER OF AIR image OCTOPUS 11: THE MATTER OF AIR image

Published by anonymous on Thursday 11 August 2011.
Contact the publisher.

This year, Gertrude Contemporary Deputy Director Jacqueline Doughty has curated The Matter of Air, an exhibition that explores the metaphysical and poetic properties of air, water and vapour. Featuring five artists from across the globe, The Matter of Air will consider ideas of transformation through artworks that traverse the threshold between the material and the immaterial.

Taking poetic license with the language of science, these artists draw upon physical properties and forces such as volume, weight, mass and temperature to manipulate and redefine form.

The Matter of Air features an evocative collection of works that reveal new possibilities for matter on both material and metaphysical levels. Whilst many of the works give shape and substance to matter that is amorphous or invisible, others dissolve traditional notions of solidity in favour of forms that are indistinct and indefinable, ultimately revealing the mutability of all things.

Sydney artist Michaela Gleave explores the transformation of water to mist in her work “Cloud House” (2011). Gleave will be constructing a ‘tree house’ in the gallery, which is to be filled with a misty fog. To create this substance Gleave employs ultra-sonic, inaudible high frequency sound to break up water into tiny droplets so that it is transformed into clouds.

New Zealand artist Dane Mitchell, on the other hand, explores the more celestial ideas of transformation creating works that hover on the edge of perception, materiality and time. For The Matter of Air, Mitchell will be showing a recent work entitled “Various Solid States” (2011). In this work Mitchell gives form to the gallery visitors’ breath. To do this Mitchell collects water from a dehumidifier that is then mixed with plaster and poured a-top bubble wrap, with each air pocket creating a metaphorical imprint of the gallery visitor’s breath.

Similarly Lithuanian artist Zilvinas Kempinas’ who represented Lithuania at the 2009 Venice Biennale, presents “Double O” (2008), a work that makes invisible air currents visible through a gravity defying VHS tape dance. Suspended in the air between two industrial fans, the unspooled VHS tape takes on the form of the fan-blown air, creating an undulating line which dances to the shape of the air that blows it.

Melbourne-based Sanne Mestrom also gives form to the void, through her major new installation “Compression Chamber” (2011). First created for exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney, Mestrom takes as her starting point the 5 cubic metres of space that she was allocated in a group exhibition. Through calculating that the air within 5 cubic metres weighed 6.5 kilograms she went on to create a series of intuitively formed sculptures that each qual this weight, despite their varying scales and diverse materials.

Exploring transformation in a meditative and experimental mode are the Portuguese collaborative duo Gusmao + Paiva who were selected to represent Portugal at the 2009 Venice Biennale. For The Matter of Air the duo will be presenting five of their 16mm filmic enquiries into the possibilities of ‘pataphysics’ or ‘the science of imaginary solutions’.

The Octopus series of exhibitions are made possible through generous support from Proclaim Management Solutions who have sponsored this exhibition since 2004. The Matter of Air has received support from Aalto Colour, New Zealand and Instituto Camoes, Portugal and the Embassy of Portugal, Canberra.