19 April – 6 May 2017
Opening Night | Thursday 20 April, 6pm–8pm
Jamie Hall + Tara O’Conal
Informe investigates the potential of video and sculpture to generate different registers of experience - aesthetic, cognitive, sensory and critical. Relationships between material, viewer and site are tested through the live encounter. Informe brings the viewer into the unfolding circumstance of video and sculpture, offering a context for understanding through experience.
Tara O'Conal sound design by Rohan Goldsmith.
There’s a half moon stain on my carpet. I’m trying to discern whether or not it existed before or after I moved into the house. Its hard to concentrate though because of a half formed pain in my abdomen. It could spell d-o- o-m or it could spell a-c- i-d r-e- f-l- u-x. I run the vacuum over the stain again in a halfhearted attempt to suck the colour out of the fibres. Giving up, I move on to the next room.
I live by the sea and feel as though I am constantly vacuuming. Every time I feel the gristle of pestled rocks under my feet, I’m careening to the back of the house to wrangle the vacuum cleaner out of it’s cupboard. Today, however, I’m not bothered so much by sand. Today, there is a mass of dead millipedes strewn about the bathroom floor. Due to their considerable quantity, they appear composed precisely. In truth, their haphazard arrangement owes its direction to nothing more than the hour of expiration. I stoop to handle one of the dusky coils. It is very light and flutters in my palm. What is odd is that I haven’t seen a living millipede in the house. What is also odd is that they are only in the bathroom. Perhaps they mistook my bathroom for their instinctual burial plot, kind of like how cats and dogs go under houses to die. Perhaps it’s something to do with moisture.
My toilet is full of Daddy-long- legs. Not the toilet itself but the room the toilet is in. The small window above the toilet is comprised of about six glass slats that slope downwards so water can’t get in. There is an opening about an inch wide between each slat. Presumably, insects and arachnids, small mammals even, can come and go as they please. The Daddy-long- legs are unadventurous. They seem to insist on setting up shop exclusively in the toilet room. They lean outwards from the wall proposing to topple, or intentionally abandon their perch to rappel swiftly downwards on a near invisible cable. If they could speak they’d make the “ooh….ahhh…woooh…woaaah,” sounds that a friend invariably makes when you’re near a body of water and they’re threatening to push you in. Tell ya mum I saved ya.
What I’ve decided keeps the Daddy-long- legs glued to the wall is the faith in animals acting exactly as they always have. Which is the same, I suppose, as a faith in experience adhering to its constantly growing pile of ancestors. But today I’m finding something in the number of them unusual. The few extra members of the long limbed party are rupturing my expectations, and through that tiny rupture the uncanny can clamber. They might follow through on their threat to jump. There are suggestions of strife. The collection of millipedes in one specific location is equally unnerving. The Daddy-long- legs threatening to jump and the millipedes in their death throes conspiring to affect hieroglyphs or mimic the stray pubes in the shower, that through dying millipedic sight could easily be mistaken for their skinny, dead siblings, are not revealing the beauty of minutia or proposing some lesson in looking, but are a blip in the expected. They are new configurations of existing components occasioning slight inversions; inversions in my cleaning routine, in the expectations of my rooms, in experience and context, in the limits of invertebrate communication, in dominion, in the consistency of now and what lead up to it. Such inversions carve a nice foothold to review what they’ve disrupted: the regular, overarching material of the world. I raise my finger and draw some phantasmal lines between a few of the millipedes, attempting to conjure a gestalt or reveal a constellation. I bend down to plug the vacuum’s power cord into the socket.
Gabriel Curtin | 2017
Tara O’Conal is an artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Tara uses video and sound media to explore the body’s relationship to objects, spaces and environments. She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2016 with First Class Honours. Tara is currently studying at the Victorian College of the Arts in the Masters of Fine Art Program.
Jamie Hall’s art practice is a sculptural investigation of the materiality of experience. Hall's sculpture questions the fundamental relationship of artists, viewer and art object, aiming to reveal and test the mechanisms and functions of art objects by operationalising the phenomenological concepts of practice, experience and agency.