RECLINING TOWARDS A COMFORTABLE IDLEOLOGY

9 - 26 April 2014

Opening Night | Thursday 10 April 6-8pm

Zac St Clair + Natasha Madden 

Natasha Madden and Zac St. Clair create a utopian model for comfortable living, with a mutual inertia and optimistic apathy. By using materials that are both visually and physically comforting, utilitarian objects are created and given a rest from the obligation of their designed purpose, as a physical representation of the romantic and melancholic desire for paradise that they both share.


THESE ARE MY “HI-RES” IMAGES

There is an invisible almost straight line between Frankston (to the south east of Melbourne’s CBD) and Doreen (to the north east of Melbourne’s CBD). If you could drive or walk between the two and on this invisible straight line you would pass through Yarrambat, Plenty, Greensborough, Templestowe, Balwyn, Blackburn, Chadstone, Clayton, Dingley, Edithvale and Seaford.

Moving through suburbia to get from a rural edge to the edge of the sea; or vice versa.

An inward and outward outlook or movement, I guess.

You see.

I’m never really sure what place means.

There is one of us, from one of these places and another one from the other, yet another is from that somewhere in between the others.

Boredom, laziness, melancholia, comfort, idleness and the workaholic. Perhaps each one is really just the other.

Whilst watching Pedro Almodóvar’s film I’m so excited two things occurred to me. One, was that the title of the film elicits a kind of exhaustion. The song by The Pointer Sisters is fast, punchy and demanding. I remember it vividly being performed by a Queen at The Peel. A kind of forced libidinal space, with effort — the song, not The Peel. A demanded desire. But perhaps only in the context of this film where because a plane is thought to be about to crash, the flight attendants attempt to distract the passengers by lip-syncing the song — I’m so excited.

Both title and theme song - an overworked tribute.

Almodóvar constantly changes genres — the other thing that occurred to me.

Serious humor, the prophetic and profound; absurd. Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz handling baggage like screwed (up) ground crew.

Perhaps, like it’s overworked title and theme song, Almodóvar’s film is strained and tired.

My friend who lives in London has just messaged. The two of them went to the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill on Sea. Viber says they say...

(sic) Rained around us but never where we were.

The De La Warr Pavillion is International Style and either/or Art Deco. Perhaps it was the first major Modernist building in Britain, or perhaps it wasn’t. People don’t seem to agree, but they still will go to see.

Bexhill on the Sea.

The name of the place has its thingness in it; just in case you can’t see it, just in case you can’t hear it or just in case you can’t feel it.

Seeing things through things; the thirteenth chapter in Ranciere’s book of scenes. This is not representation. Like a blanket painted the same colour as itself, a set of doors that can become a family, a shelf made from Salada’s and chipboard made from Weetbix

Registered trade, Mark.

Copy, right? Service, Mark?

®™

© ℠

Registered trade Mark. Copy, right?. Service Mark! ℗

Salada’s and shelves; a ledge for cheese and tomato, a massage for Vegemite, a bed for butter. Man size, snack size, bite size; wheat, salt and water.

Three of the five fridges at the service station are filled with Energy Drinks, one with milk and cheese, the other with refreshments without the specified and named capacity.

‘I’m so excited, we’re all exhausted’, these three fridges seems to say.

Mother, Monster, Red Bull, No Fear, V.

And because of exhaustion, mothers, monsters and fear we forget to write email replies and ask for more time. And so one of the one’s writes instead;

Thank you for writing Towards a Philosophy of Furniture. I also like that you have updated the text - Instruments of Contentment: Furniture and Poetic Sustainability. What a beautiful title!

When I was three years old I went through a strange period where I refused to wear shoes, because they made a strange squeaking noise whenever I walked and I was convinced I was hurting them by walking. I told my dad that I felt like I was stepping on little baby ducks. I heard the squeaking and the clicking and the mushing, and I felt the pressure of my feet pressing down on the rubber, and I knew that it couldn't possibly be safe for me to be pushing down so hard on something so soft. I felt that it was so unfair to expect a piece of rubber and leather to support my entire body. My father proceeded to check the inside and outside of my shoes, to prove that in fact there were no baby ducks being hurt by my walking. But I remained convinced, that even though there were no baby ducks under my feet, that there was something trapped inside the soles (souls?? ha ha) of my shoes, something inherent in the structure of the support, a prescribed set of rules and behaviours that a shoe and shoe-wearer alike must conform to, and I was not comfortable with knowing them.

It is almost like everyday things -shelves, beds, trousers, walls, chairs- come with their own 'user's manual', embedded within themselves. We know how to use a sweater by knowing a sweater. But then I also wonder, is finding or defining a function all about simply the naming of a thing that is supposed to support or carry out that function?

Things that carry-out other things, forms that follow other functions. When the categorization fails, when what is expected doesn’t happen — like 101 script writing for a sitcom about nothing, like only reading the introduction or the conclusion, like waiting in a queue at Optus while all the employees are on the phone, like seeing a comfortable space you can’t get into.

Lets end with an introduction. Pierre Saint-Amand writes;

Here non-productivity remains a precious art, a protest against the bourgeois consensus of utility, an original conquest of freedom. In the end, laziness rejoins the essay, the work in progress with no guarantee of completion. It contemplates the unfinished—work interrupted, fragmented without regret.

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Lisa Radford (with Tash Madden and Zac St Clair), March 2014.