Moments of Place - Papermountain Gallery, Perth   6 - 22 October 2017  Participants:  Urbanist - Robyn Creagh (floor)  +  Artist - Shannon Lyons (wall objects)  +  Architect - Simon Pendal (Columnar Room)  Photographers: Chi Ho  +  Rob Frith - Acorn Photo  Catalogue Essay:  An installation artist, an architect and an urban situationist walk into a bar. One orders a pint of De Certeau, one a shot of LvS and the other a glass of Debord. Each takes a sip. They are planning an exhibition in a small gallery. Working in their own traditions they want to interrogate the nature of place. The pint drinker says to the others: “We are the strategists in this venture. My work will be difficult to find. My audience will use many tactics in their attempts to discover what I have done.” The shot drinker says: “My audience will enter the space that I will provide and they will know at once whether they are in it or looking at it. Depending on their individual histories in space I think that some will read the space as an ellipse – thinking of the evolution of geometry and of classicism, and others will focus on my three leaf clover columns – recalling the columns of Alvar Aalto and the social democracy they served. I’m not sure that I am the strategist here. Maybe I’ve assembled a set of tactical prompts.” Picking up the bottle of Debord and decanting some more of the contents into a glass, the urban situationist says: “My strategy is to cover the black floor with a grid of white cards. That symbolises the abstract subdivisions that are the base of every colonial settlement since ancient Greece. Those grids have been so subverted by individual pursuits of desire that, for example, the once straight north-south street of the Roman camp that is the origin of Alnwick in Northumberland today inscribes an S-curve that obscures the view along its length. My tactic is to record how visitors walking across these cards disturb them. I will look for emergent patterns caused by the casual disruptions of the cards. I hope that visitors are not too self-conscious about the art-value of the cards. I hope they walk across them intent on finding the wall installations or entering the sixteen columns. If they are too careful they will be strategists trying to make art!”  “Maybe”, mused the installation artist, taking a sip of De Certeau, “My audience will be on the look out for the dualities of ‘embodied and distributed’ forms. I will be happy if when they find one of my small plates on the walls, that they decide that every small plate in the gallery was inserted by me. In this way I hope to inveigle people into a Duchampian realisation about the wonder of every part of our world.” “Oh!”, interjected the architect, choking slightly on the LvS,” I think they will notice that we have carved this up between the three nested scales of detail, architectural space and urban process!” “But,” said the situationist feeling a warm glow from the Debord, “Surely they will get it that we are dealing with types AND original twists to type!”  They fell silent, looking at each other across their glasses. After a long silence they said in unison, startling themselves as they did: “You know, there is a tension between our presumed personas and what each of us has done. All the works are installations, all are architectural and all can be read as commenting on the urban situation.” Another long silence fell over the group. “Each of us in the act of making our exhibit has implied an audience for that exhibit,” said one of them. “And,” said another, “the white gallery space both creates and limits our audience.” They all sighed. ‘That old chestnut’, they thought internally. But we have painted everything white. Except the floor. Which will start off looking white. “I wonder whether the audience will notice that we have created a tri-polar investigation into Einstein’s ‘spacetime’.  How each of us has found a way to reveal a ‘standing-wave’ in that continuum.” The barista offered them all a coffee. “I couldn’t help but overhear your discussion,” she said. “I have observed that drinking De Certaeu gives rise to dualities, while drinking LvS causes triple vision, and Debord braids people up altogether!”  The installation artist, the architect and the urban situationist protested together: “We are joined together through the tensions between these positions! Our audience will discover their own trails of precedents. Some will be from far off horizons, some will be from our shared Perth educations. Some will be entirely circumstantial to the present locus. They don’t have to know our histories!” “Of course said the barista tactfully: “As Proust said, ‘spelling out your theoretical position is like keeping the price tags on the furniture you buy for your home.’  Have another drink for the road!”  And they did. This left them wondering where they were in the never ending spiralling of Earth through this universe. But that is another tale, and involves another bar.  Leon van Schaik AO (LvS)   
       
     
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 Moments of Place - Papermountain Gallery, Perth   6 - 22 October 2017  Participants:  Urbanist - Robyn Creagh (floor)  +  Artist - Shannon Lyons (wall objects)  +  Architect - Simon Pendal (Columnar Room)  Photographers: Chi Ho  +  Rob Frith - Acorn Photo  Catalogue Essay:  An installation artist, an architect and an urban situationist walk into a bar. One orders a pint of De Certeau, one a shot of LvS and the other a glass of Debord. Each takes a sip. They are planning an exhibition in a small gallery. Working in their own traditions they want to interrogate the nature of place. The pint drinker says to the others: “We are the strategists in this venture. My work will be difficult to find. My audience will use many tactics in their attempts to discover what I have done.” The shot drinker says: “My audience will enter the space that I will provide and they will know at once whether they are in it or looking at it. Depending on their individual histories in space I think that some will read the space as an ellipse – thinking of the evolution of geometry and of classicism, and others will focus on my three leaf clover columns – recalling the columns of Alvar Aalto and the social democracy they served. I’m not sure that I am the strategist here. Maybe I’ve assembled a set of tactical prompts.” Picking up the bottle of Debord and decanting some more of the contents into a glass, the urban situationist says: “My strategy is to cover the black floor with a grid of white cards. That symbolises the abstract subdivisions that are the base of every colonial settlement since ancient Greece. Those grids have been so subverted by individual pursuits of desire that, for example, the once straight north-south street of the Roman camp that is the origin of Alnwick in Northumberland today inscribes an S-curve that obscures the view along its length. My tactic is to record how visitors walking across these cards disturb them. I will look for emergent patterns caused by the casual disruptions of the cards. I hope that visitors are not too self-conscious about the art-value of the cards. I hope they walk across them intent on finding the wall installations or entering the sixteen columns. If they are too careful they will be strategists trying to make art!”  “Maybe”, mused the installation artist, taking a sip of De Certeau, “My audience will be on the look out for the dualities of ‘embodied and distributed’ forms. I will be happy if when they find one of my small plates on the walls, that they decide that every small plate in the gallery was inserted by me. In this way I hope to inveigle people into a Duchampian realisation about the wonder of every part of our world.” “Oh!”, interjected the architect, choking slightly on the LvS,” I think they will notice that we have carved this up between the three nested scales of detail, architectural space and urban process!” “But,” said the situationist feeling a warm glow from the Debord, “Surely they will get it that we are dealing with types AND original twists to type!”  They fell silent, looking at each other across their glasses. After a long silence they said in unison, startling themselves as they did: “You know, there is a tension between our presumed personas and what each of us has done. All the works are installations, all are architectural and all can be read as commenting on the urban situation.” Another long silence fell over the group. “Each of us in the act of making our exhibit has implied an audience for that exhibit,” said one of them. “And,” said another, “the white gallery space both creates and limits our audience.” They all sighed. ‘That old chestnut’, they thought internally. But we have painted everything white. Except the floor. Which will start off looking white. “I wonder whether the audience will notice that we have created a tri-polar investigation into Einstein’s ‘spacetime’.  How each of us has found a way to reveal a ‘standing-wave’ in that continuum.” The barista offered them all a coffee. “I couldn’t help but overhear your discussion,” she said. “I have observed that drinking De Certaeu gives rise to dualities, while drinking LvS causes triple vision, and Debord braids people up altogether!”  The installation artist, the architect and the urban situationist protested together: “We are joined together through the tensions between these positions! Our audience will discover their own trails of precedents. Some will be from far off horizons, some will be from our shared Perth educations. Some will be entirely circumstantial to the present locus. They don’t have to know our histories!” “Of course said the barista tactfully: “As Proust said, ‘spelling out your theoretical position is like keeping the price tags on the furniture you buy for your home.’  Have another drink for the road!”  And they did. This left them wondering where they were in the never ending spiralling of Earth through this universe. But that is another tale, and involves another bar.  Leon van Schaik AO (LvS)   
       
     

Moments of Place - Papermountain Gallery, Perth 

6 - 22 October 2017

Participants:  Urbanist - Robyn Creagh (floor)  +  Artist - Shannon Lyons (wall objects)  +  Architect - Simon Pendal (Columnar Room)

Photographers: Chi Ho  +  Rob Frith - Acorn Photo

Catalogue Essay:

An installation artist, an architect and an urban situationist walk into a bar. One orders a pint of De Certeau, one a shot of LvS and the other a glass of Debord. Each takes a sip. They are planning an exhibition in a small gallery. Working in their own traditions they want to interrogate the nature of place. The pint drinker says to the others: “We are the strategists in this venture. My work will be difficult to find. My audience will use many tactics in their attempts to discover what I have done.” The shot drinker says: “My audience will enter the space that I will provide and they will know at once whether they are in it or looking at it. Depending on their individual histories in space I think that some will read the space as an ellipse – thinking of the evolution of geometry and of classicism, and others will focus on my three leaf clover columns – recalling the columns of Alvar Aalto and the social democracy they served. I’m not sure that I am the strategist here. Maybe I’ve assembled a set of tactical prompts.” Picking up the bottle of Debord and decanting some more of the contents into a glass, the urban situationist says: “My strategy is to cover the black floor with a grid of white cards. That symbolises the abstract subdivisions that are the base of every colonial settlement since ancient Greece. Those grids have been so subverted by individual pursuits of desire that, for example, the once straight north-south street of the Roman camp that is the origin of Alnwick in Northumberland today inscribes an S-curve that obscures the view along its length. My tactic is to record how visitors walking across these cards disturb them. I will look for emergent patterns caused by the casual disruptions of the cards. I hope that visitors are not too self-conscious about the art-value of the cards. I hope they walk across them intent on finding the wall installations or entering the sixteen columns. If they are too careful they will be strategists trying to make art!”

“Maybe”, mused the installation artist, taking a sip of De Certeau, “My audience will be on the look out for the dualities of ‘embodied and distributed’ forms. I will be happy if when they find one of my small plates on the walls, that they decide that every small plate in the gallery was inserted by me. In this way I hope to inveigle people into a Duchampian realisation about the wonder of every part of our world.” “Oh!”, interjected the architect, choking slightly on the LvS,” I think they will notice that we have carved this up between the three nested scales of detail, architectural space and urban process!” “But,” said the situationist feeling a warm glow from the Debord, “Surely they will get it that we are dealing with types AND original twists to type!”

They fell silent, looking at each other across their glasses. After a long silence they said in unison, startling themselves as they did: “You know, there is a tension between our presumed personas and what each of us has done. All the works are installations, all are architectural and all can be read as commenting on the urban situation.” Another long silence fell over the group. “Each of us in the act of making our exhibit has implied an audience for that exhibit,” said one of them. “And,” said another, “the white gallery space both creates and limits our audience.” They all sighed. ‘That old chestnut’, they thought internally. But we have painted everything white. Except the floor. Which will start off looking white. “I wonder whether the audience will notice that we have created a tri-polar investigation into Einstein’s ‘spacetime’.  How each of us has found a way to reveal a ‘standing-wave’ in that continuum.” The barista offered them all a coffee. “I couldn’t help but overhear your discussion,” she said. “I have observed that drinking De Certaeu gives rise to dualities, while drinking LvS causes triple vision, and Debord braids people up altogether!”

The installation artist, the architect and the urban situationist protested together: “We are joined together through the tensions between these positions! Our audience will discover their own trails of precedents. Some will be from far off horizons, some will be from our shared Perth educations. Some will be entirely circumstantial to the present locus. They don’t have to know our histories!” “Of course said the barista tactfully: “As Proust said, ‘spelling out your theoretical position is like keeping the price tags on the furniture you buy for your home.’  Have another drink for the road!”

And they did. This left them wondering where they were in the never ending spiralling of Earth through this universe. But that is another tale, and involves another bar.

Leon van Schaik AO (LvS)

 

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