VERTIGO – Chaos and Dislocation in Contemporary Australian Art

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Experience a New Kind of Reality at the POSCO Art Museum

POSCO endeavors to connect people and establish free communication between people and society through art. As part of such efforts, POSCO introduces a wide variety of exhibitions at the POSCO Art Museum. If you have any plans to visit Korea in the near future, or thinking about staying for a while, then you should definitely visit the Vertigo exhibition currently running at the POSCO Art Museum. It’s an opportunity too good to miss!

Justine Khamara, Rotational Affinity, 2013, hand cut colour photograph, 80 x 114cm

Australian Contemporary Art at a Glance

The Vertigo exhibition is a chance to take a comprehensive look into Australian contemporary art. Curated by Claire Anna Watson, Vertigo features work by ten contemporary Australian artists; Boe-lin Bastian, Cate Consandine, Simon Finn, Justine Khamara, Bonnie Lane, Kristin McIver, Kiron Robinson, Kate Shaw, Tania Smith and Alice Wormald. Presenting drawing, video, collage and sculptural works, the artists embrace diverse strategies in their attempt to make sense of the world around them, with dizzying results.

Vertigo, presented by Asialink Arts (funded by the Australian government), is part of an Exhibition Touring Program. The exhibition has already been greeted with enthusiasm in other venues in Asia including Indoneisa and Taiwan.

Following the touring exhibition’s success in Indonesia and Taiwan, the exhibition at POSCO opened on 24 July.

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<During the exhibition, 10 young Australian contemporary artists will present a wide array of art, including neon signs, paintings, collages, drawings, videos and sculptures>

Director of Asialink Arts Lesley Alway says, “Reflecting on an accelerating world and its associated anxieties, Vertigo features a search for balance and a re-evaluation about priorities and possibilities for the future. At a time where we are connecting globally and searching for connections, dialogue about the way we live and envision the future has never been more important.”

Cate Consandine, Lash 2006, HD Video (still), looped (silent), Image courtesy of the artist and Sarah Scout, Melbourne

△ Cate Consandine – Lash (2006)

Vertigo: The Exhibition
What does vertigo mean? If you look up the dictionary, it says, “a sensation of whirling and loss of balance; giddiness.” There is hardly another word that better reflects the identities of the 10 young, strikingly unique artists who participated in this exhibition. The artists, through their art, attempt to take the audience off guard and introduce a taste of chaos by making them experience the instability when one is faced with the unknown and the impossible. However, if you look at the artworks more carefully, you will realize that it is possible to overcome the fear and nervousness, and make sense out of the apparent confusion and chaos: Such an experience ultimately leads to the inner growth of the viewer.

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“So what happens tomorrow?” Asks Claire Anna Watson, curator of Vertigo. “Lacking prescience, this is of course an unanswerable question that strikes at the heart of this exhibition. The bold offerings of the artists in Vertigo articulate the psychological repercussions and sense of dislocation that arises when considering the uncertainty of our world and its future.”

Do these works embody gravitas and signify a demise of hope? “They invite us to contemplate the volatility of humanity,” She answers.

[box] Vertigo @ POSCO Art Museum Exhibition Information

– Name of Exhibition : Vertigo – Chaos and dislocation in contemporary Australian art
– Exhibition Dates : 2014/7/24~2014/8/27
– Opening Hours : Mon-Fri: 10:00-19:00, Sat: 11:00-16:00 (Closed for Sundays and Holidays)
– Venue : POSCO Art Museum (B1 POSCO Center, 892 Daechi 4 Dong, Gangnamgu, Seoul, Korea)
– Fee : Free of Charge
– Artists : 10 Australian Contemporary Artists Boe-lin Bastian, Cate Consandine, Simon Finn, Justine Khamara, Bonnie Lane, Kristin McIver, Kiron Robinson, Kate Shaw, Tania Smith, & Alice Wormald
– Number of Artworks : 32 Works

For more information, please visit the POSCO Art Museum Homepage [/box]

Notable Artworks at Vertigo

The 10 artists participating in this exhibition are relatively young: most were born between 1970 and 1980. Nevertheless, these young, powerful artists are not only at the forefront of Australia’s contemporary art scene, but also making themselves known globally as well. From paintings and videos to sculptural works, the exhibition has a lot to offer in terms of both variety and intensity. Let us take a look at a few of the notable artworks available at the exhibition. 

#1 Justine Khamara – ‘Rotational Affinity’ (2013)

Justine Khamara, Rotational Affinity, 2013, hand cut colour photograph, 80 x 114cm

“In the past, I have sought to disrupt photography’s smooth, two-dimensional surfaces by building sculptures and collages entirely out of photographic parts. These works evoke biological processes of replication while also engaging with notions of self-representation in an era of instant, endlessly generative image production technologies. There is an undeniably psychological aspect to these works that is amplified by the fact that many of the sitters who appear in the photos are my close family members.” – Justine Khamara, on the ways he uses technological developments as an artistic medium.

#2 BONNIE LANE ‘MAKE Believe’ (2012) 

Bonnie Lane, Make Believe 2012, Single channel HD video (still), 1 hour 5 minutes

“By exploring emotional responses to the world in which we live, my predominantly video based practice focuses on universal human experiences from an often-existential perspective. My video pieces utilize the atmosphere and history of existing architectural spaces to create immersive environments to be stepped into. My artworks are often wholly or partly autobiographical, an amalgamation of experiences and memories, dreams and nightmares, fears and fantasies.” –Bonnie Lane, explaining her art philosophy.

#3 KIRON ROBINSON ‘I’m Scared World’ (2006)

Kiron Robinson I_m Scared World, 2006 (detail), Neon, 50 x 120cm, Image courtesy of the artist and Sarah Scout, Melbourne

“I use a range of mediums including neon, video, photography and installation to investigate the idea of doubt, faith and failure as constructive devices. My work continually chases ways of articulating, that which by its own definition is beyond articulation. [This work] explores the condition of experiencing and facing the idea of beyond from a position grounded in a contingent world.” – Kiron Robinson on how he tries to makes sense of the world through his art.

[box] Interview of Contemporary Artist Simon Finn

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[Introduction] Born in 1976 at Melbourne, Australia, Simon Finn expresses the unmoving and the moving through drawings, sculpture and simulation technology. He is currently teaching classes on animation and game design at the SAE Institute of the Design Institute of Australia. He is also an award-winning artist who holds various exhibitions.

Q. What was the most impressing thing about Korea?
A. Korea is very beautiful, and there are lots to see. The most impressing thing about Korea was its food. Australian food is a bit bland; Korean food was powerful and unique. It was a very interesting experience.

Q. Could you please explain your art philosophy, and your thoughts on Korean Contemporary Art?
A. I am interested in new culture, human society, the environment, and technology. I think my interests blend in naturally into my work. I’ve had a chance to experience Korean contemporary art, and was very surprised to see there were a lot of interesting and unique ideas. Though my stay was short, it was a meaningful time getting to know about Korean culture and art. I’m going to spread the word about Korean culture and art when I go back to my home country.[/box]

The artists who participated in Vertigo are expressing their art philosophies in various ways. They are not satisfied with absolute beauty; rather, they try to communicate with the audience by showing them how they see today’s world with their own eyes. Can you feel the dissonance between dream and reality, the present and the future, and the feeling of uncertainty that arises?

POSCO Art Museum will continue to provide interesting and unique art experiences that leave the viewer thinking. Please look forward to more exhibitions in the future, and don’t forget to pay a visit when you have the chance!

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