As part of the 2015 Marrickville Open Studio Trail and Art Month Sydney, Marrickville Garage launches its 2015 program on Saturday 28 March: 11 – 4pm & Sunday 29 March: 11 – 4 pm, followed by closing drinks 3 – 5pm.
is the re-enacting, recreating and revisiting of works the participating artists have deemed as feminist reference points in the art canon.
Artists Sally Clarke, Cherine Fahd, Trevor Fry, Danica Knezevic, Francesca Mataraga, Margaret Mayhew, Sarah Newall, Jane Polkinghorne, Elizabeth Pulie, Mark Shorter
Sally Clarke’s ‘The Rotteness of Bruyckereberg’ fuses Berlinde de Bruyckere and Mika Rottenberg where the brutalised body meets the body as site and bearer of production. Located in a suburban garden and constructed from fallen eucalyptus tree limbs, pineapples, bandages and risen dough Clarke’s artwork alludes to the suburban everyday and the forces of nature mashed with human endeavour literally and metaphorically.
Cherine Fahd uses Barabra Kruger’s text works as a foundation relocated onto the walls of a suburban Sydney house in Marrickville, rather than the bustling central locations of populous urban centres where Kruger’s incisive word work usually appear. With the work installed at the same time as the NSW 2015 state election Fahd sourced cliches straight from the mouths of politicians using paste-up as political sloganeering and street art.
Trevor Fry exverts a new place setting for Judy Chicago’s ‘The Dinner Party’, reconfigured here into an eruptive scatalogical phallus saluting the mysterious artiste Trixie la Farge. Unglazed and clearly bearing the fingermarks of the artist, this work is simultaneously turd, flower and phallus, in an intermingling that renders Judy Chicago’s iconic work as monstrous, Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers in 3D and Fry’s scatology in an operation that is critique, irony and sabotage, and a queering of second wave feminist essentialism.
Sarah Newall’s ‘Girl Shed’ reworks Laurie Simmons’ photographs of miniature doll house interiors ‘Early Colour Interiors’, enlarged but only just enough for a (very) small adult to occupy becoming a claustrophobic, too small adult cubby house. Newall’s ‘room of one’s own’ carves out a space only for her, built to accommodate her physicality the work is also a reflection on painting, domesticity and brings together Newall’s interest in how artists Donald Judd and Andrea Zettel have created spaces for living as integral aspects of their practices.
Francesca Mataraga remakes Lavinia Fontana’s incredible 16th century painting ‘Portrait of a Girl Covered in Hair’ (c1594-95) with the hairy headed girl immortalised as a gleaming three dimensional mass. Abstracted and placed on a pedestal Mataraga elevates this mysterious child into the pantheon of the immortalised through referencing the busts of antiquity.
Margaret Mayhew miniaturises the central core sculptures called Abakans by Magdalena Abakanowicz, colliding here with a suburban reflection on 1970’s styled crochet. Hanging from a tree on the street, the works appear ephemeral or perhaps mysterious flower/seed pods. On closer inspection their ‘handcraftedness’ and relationship to women’s crafts (weaving, crochet and decoration) is apparent as is the overt stylised vaginal qualities.
Lee Lozano’s performance ‘Decide to Boycott Women’ that she begun in 1971 that she ended up sustaining for decades is temporarily reenacted in a front yard by Elizabeth Pulie.
In August 1971 Lee Lozano (1930-1999) commenced her conceptual work, Decide to Boycott Women. Initially a month-long experiment where she refused to speak to women in order to ‘improve communication’ with them, Lozano ultimately maintained this work for the rest of her life. While at the time some found it difficult to accept this work in the context of feminism, in 2002 Helen Molesworth suggests: ‘Lozano’s refusal to speak to women implies an understanding of patriarchy that is akin to her rejection of the art world – both are systems, with rules and logics that are public with personal effects.’(1) In re-performing Lozano’s work, I hope to bring attention to the moment, not so long ago, when art disappeared radically within the everyday.
Read more about Pulie’s project here and at Contemporary Art and Feminism.
1. Helen Molesworth, Tune in, Turn on, Drop out: The Rejection of Lee Lozano, Art Journal Vol.16 No. 4 (Winter 2002) pp 64-71
Renny Kodgers recasts the vulvic space of Carolee Schneemann’s 1975 work ‘Interior Scroll’ inside his anus in a critique of pure reason. An inversion is in operation here as the butt plug’s penetration of ‘anal space’ disrupts the absurd figure of Kodgers who epitomises and satirises the heterosexual male so often posited as the subject in art, art history and philosophy.
Danica Knezevic reenacts Claude Cahun’s gender ambiguous self-reflexive self-portrait as a snapshot of contemporary queer life in Sydney. Referencing Cahun’s mirrored image, Knezevic reworks it for its peculiar refusal to see its reflection. The direct gaze into the camera acknowledges how potent the lens and the image has become in contemporary life, perhaps overpowering the mirror as the site of self reflection.
Jane Polkinghorne relocates Marina Abramovic’s iconic performance artwork ‘The Artist is Present’ to the social field hovering between the suburban fence and the footpath, with an esky and some cool drinks to lubricate the interaction.
In full Abramovic drag, Polkinghorne disturbs Marina Abramovic’s potent silent presence. Instead of intense silent staring, the artist chats over the fence inviting the audience to engage with other Abramovic works in a manner that simultaneously operates as greatest hits performance art karaoke, homage and parody. Using the Australian social lubricator of alcohol the audience feels obliged to participate.
Watch a short video of Jane Polkinghorne performing Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (wigged).
This project is part of The Future Feminist Archive organised by Contemporary Art and Feminism research cluster, inspired by the 4oth anniversary of International Women’s Year.
Find out more here
See more on Art Month 2015 here
Girls Talk is an interactive sculpture that creatively interprets the intersection of art and architecture by exploring the way we communicate in a temporal space. Using a combination of symmetrical and dynamic forms, the work provides an alternative environment that questions how we communicate within a public and private space.
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