14 Nov - 1 Dec 2018

Opening Night | Thursday 15 Nov, 6pm–8pm




Mia Middleton

Being There presents works which explore the dichotomous states of presence and absence, surface and void. Disembodied biological forms occupy the gallery space, creating a sparse and surreal tableau that alludes to the rites and rituals of place making in contemporary society. In particular, the works unpack synthetic and utopic environments by breaking apart and re-purposing the veneers that typify them.

Littered throughout the room, traces of humanity are mutated and bonded with organic and inorganic matter, exploring the primal states that intertwine with commercial sites. The result is a conflation of the domestic, the fantastic, and the organic, where multiple timescales exist in tandem, and coagulations in diverse movements of matter and culture converge. Rather than situating humanity as removed from or in dominance over the biosphere, the works explore their fused identity, and consider the vast processes encompassing humans in contrast and in confluence with the machinations of contemporary society.

Continuing a transfixion with surfaces and objects drawn from ubiquitous physical infrastructure, Being There is a kind of fictional archaeology that is both visceral and stilted. Materials and fabrics that furnish domestic environments entangle and encroach into animal and plant matter. The strange hybrids that remain are a nod to the enmeshment of self, system and ideal that permeates modern living. These bombastic artefacts rest eerily throughout the room, as though echoes from a fractured future.

The inseparable bastions of consumption, narcissism and social gamesmanship, although natural and primal in their own way, can cleave perspectives away from the planetary and the abstract, and towards the synthetic and the prescriptive if left unchecked. By directing awareness to the design of daily life, and positioning this in a pseudo mythological context, the works in Being There aim to create new cosmologies from our ever-accumulating detritus.

Drawing broadly on materialism, assemblage theory and systems theory, Being There takes a dialectical approach to conflicting forces and dualities. Drawing on the work of Max Weber which states that defined social constructs are simplified codifications of interpretive polymorphous activities, and to treat them otherwise is to negate the multifariousness of life, each object in Being There is not a simple disruption so much as a convergence of forces. Webs of significance coexist and echo across the works, with the viewer being another agent of action in this environment, implicated in this trace of a ‘happening’ and integral to its coalescence. 

Mia Middleton is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Sydney, Australia. Since completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in photo-media at UNSW Art and Design in 2013, Mia's work has been exhibited at galleries both nationally and abroad, including the Museum of Contemporary Art ARTBAR, CICA Museum Korea, Aici Acolo Romania and the Athens Digital Arts Festival. She has been the recipient of the Canson Photography Prize and completed a suite of performances for performance art festival Desire Lines. In 2018 Mia is travelling and undertaking a professional art residency in Barcelona.

IMAGES | Mia Middleton, Gorgan, 2018, plastic, foam, stones, fabric, nylon, apoxie sculpt, carpet underlay, insulation, faux fur, dimensions variable, Air in a Winch, 2018, branch, metal pins, Everything’s in Play, 2018, bark, carpet underlay, I Got Lost in my Life, 2018, wall mounted makeup mirror, shells | Courtesy the artist.