2018 MAY SPACE EXHIBITIONS

reminiSCENT

- curated by Megan Fizell, 2018

25 July to 11 August

reminiSCENT surveys contemporary artists initiating multisensory experiences through olfactory encounters. Smelling is classified as a “bodily sense” in that along with touch and taste, in order to be ‘known’ or perceived, they need to be experienced with the body. Scent receptors are located in the olfactory cortex, a zone of the brain that overlaps with the limbic system, the area responsible for some memories and emotion. As a result, scents are often linked to memories and form associations that are highly individualised and subjective. The artworks in this exhibition privilege the sense of smell over that of vision and emphasise memory as understood through bodily engagement.

Artists include Jo Burzynska, David Capra, Todd Fuller, Liz Henderson, Melinda Le Guay, Jayne McSwiney, Archie Moore, Mylyn Nguyen, Bill Noonan, Susanna Strati, Janet Tavener, Claire Anna Watson, Martynka Wawrzyniak, Melinda Young.

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Daniel O'Toole

- The Long Tomorrow, 2018

27 June to 21 July

In late 2016, I travelled to Lyon, France to embark on a studio residency with Taverne Gutenberg that transformed the way I approach abstraction. In the first few days of arriving my sketches of local architecture became an obvious choice of focus for the paintings to come. I was enthralled by the geometry of gothic churches, Roman ruins, and classic French design. The colour palette of the city’s landscape and fashion influenced my work as soon as I started painting.

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Janet Tavener

- The Last Seed, 2018

27 June to 21 July

The series titled "The Last Seed" draws its content from Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, that houses 5,000 species of essential food crops deep within the Arctic permafrost. The vault was supposed to be an impenetrable, modern-day Noah's ark for plants, a life raft against climate change and catastrophe. But a recent flood threatened its security - heavy rain occurred at a time of year when the temperature was usually well below freezing.

Scientists are building repositories of everything from seeds to mammal milk in a race to preserve a natural order. Creating cabinets of curiosity serving to remind us of our own mortality, of our mistakes and failures – a modern day Memento Mori.

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Alex Karaconji, The Flaneur

- Black Box Projects, 2018

6 to 23 June

"The Flaneur" is an animation that I began in 2015 and finished towards the end of 2016. It depicts a loosely autobiographical walk from Taylor Square to Circular Quay. At the time, I was studying my Masters degree at the National Art School and I was walking around Darlinghurst on a daily basis. The flaneur was a concept that I discovered during my research and which I found, to my delight, provided an honest conceptual framework for my art practice. The term ‘flaneur’ originated in Paris during the 19th century and it refers to a solitary person (at the time, male) who aimlessly strolls around the city. The concept of the flaneur helped to facilitate my pursuit of what Charles Baudelaire once described as “the epic side of actual life”. The Flaneur is my attempt to capture the epic side of urban life as seen through the slightly distorted lens of a city-wandering artist.

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Matt Chun

- Still, 2018

6 to 23 June

A series of recent memento mori and plein air travelogues in watercolour, pencil and mixed media. These introspective observational drawings represent the current phase of my ongoing creative engagement with the landscape, material and community of the far south coast of NSW (Yuin country).

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MUGGED!

- group exhibition, 2018

6 to 23 June

To add some warmth to our gallery this June, we have invited artists to make a selection of unique mugs. Each Saturday we will fill purchased mugs with a different complementary hot beverage, so that gallery-goers can escape the cold and enjoy the shows with a warm drink in hand.

MUGGED! will include specially made pieces by emerging, mid-career and established artists with varying approaches to making, allowing for diverse interpretations of this ubiquitous object.

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Paul White

- Dirty Diesel & Dusty Deeds, 2018

16 May to 2 June

Dirty Diesel & Dusty Deeds conflates the relationship between human and land through snapshot style drawings of the Australian outback.

While at first glance they may seem reminiscent of holiday snaps, these drawings depict the effect of human intervention on the landscape.

From the seemingly insignificant to the devastating and daunting Dirty Diesel & Dusty Deeds brings the viewer face to face with the ways in which their hand has cracked and moulded this red earth.

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Daniel Shipp

- Botanical Inquiry, 2018

16 May to 2 June

Botanical Inquiry is a series of photographic studies that depict familiar but fictional environments.

In these compositions the physical characteristics of the unremarkable plants I have collected from suburban streets become narrative elements which, when staged against the backdrop of common urban environments, question the contentious relationship between humans and nature. This relationship is reflected in the real / unreal qualities of the images, achieved in some part by manipulating the optical and staging properties of photography with a device that I have constructed that allows me to create the images “in camera” without relying on digital compositing techniques.

The ambiguous point of view conjured by the images is designed to be as unsettling as it is seductive.

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Todd Fuller, Idaho - they're only words

- Black Box Projects, 2018

16 May to 2 June

Starting in 2004, IDAHOBIT (17 May) has established itself as the most important international day for LGBTIQA+ communities and as a monumental International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism & Transphobia. In recognition of this important day, MAY SPACE is screening 'they're only words' an early film by Todd Fuller and collaborator Amy Hill. Created in 2010, the young artists animate slurs and other verbal assaults they endured on the bodies of their peers to manifest the physical scars created by discriminatory words. 'They're only words' was recently included in "The Unflinching Gaze" a groundbreaking exhibition of male representation in the photographic medium presented by Bathurst Regional Gallery.

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Helen Mueller

- Roots, 2018

18 April to 12 May

I have taken my cue for this project from the remnants of root architecture that I found at the base of upturned trees. On this occasion, it is the meanderings, rhythm and poetry of root systems that interest me more than biology or metaphor. In their fully functional form, roots reside in the shadows of the seen and known. It is only in their lifeless state, once the tree has been uprooted, that we get a glimpse of what might have been.

Through the woodblock carving and printing process, I have imagined something of the depth, complexity and mystery of a system elemental to a life. As a starting point for my matrix, I have used industrial grade and discarded timbers, ones that struggle to still show traces of the miracles of their origin. It is in searching out those traces that I find hidden and unexpected form.

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Tania Smith, Untitled (walking)

- Black Box Projects, 2018

18 April to 12 May

Untitled (walking) shows a woman in high heels navigating back and forth over a range of surfaces - rocky cliffs, sand dunes, or man-made spaces such as offices and bathrooms. Each surface creates its own set of challenges for the faceless woman, who persists onwards in a continual march across the terrain and back and forth across the screen.

Untitled (walking) conveys my interest in mimetic gestures (as detailed by theorist and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray). I perform in feminine accoutrements such as dresses and heels to signify female experience. In the performances I employ a slightly exaggerated manner that points to the comedic language of slapstick. The video is tinted blue and screened without sound to reference silent cinema, a continuing interest for me and my work (my work has been strongly informed by the cinematic slapstick of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, reframed through a feminist lens). The video is shown looped, trapping the woman in an endless pursuit, back and forth, ever onwards, again and again....

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Peter Tilley

- Seeing the Shadow, 2018

18 April to 12 May

A shadow that gives an insight into the human figure’s character and situation is the aim of this body of work. Not so much the figure or object, but the shadow it casts, a shadow that in some way reveals more about the figure than would normally be revealed, the inner self. The psychological aspects that can be associated with the shadow form a relatively important component. The focus is on how, through materiality and form, the shadow as a three-dimensional medium may be capable of revealing the nature of the individual.

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Straight Outta Canberra

- curated by Alexander Boynes, 2018

21 March to 14 April

It was once said that the best thing to come out of Canberra was the Hume Highway, yet in the space of a decade the national capital has gone from being a place where residents said 'Don't tell anyone I'm from Canberra' to now saying 'Don't tell anyone ABOUT Canberra'. More than anything this has to do with the city finally developing a personality independent of what happens up at Parliament House, and the recognition of the rich cultural sector bubbling below the surface.

Once upon a time the rite of passage for ANU School of Art graduates was to leave Canberra as soon as possible in order to 'make it'. The irony is that internationally recognised artists who have called Canberra home (including Alison Alder, Vivienne Binns, Robert Boynes, eX de Medici, Rosalie Gascoigne, Richard Larter, Mandy Martin, Jorg Schmeisser, Ruth Waller etc. etc.) in part made it because they stayed.

Following in these footsteps, "Straight Outta Canberra" presents a group of ambitious emerging artists who have realised the benefits of an easygoing city that is host to every national institution under the sun. Artists include Tom Buckland, Tony Curran, Sanne Koelemij, Julian Laffan, Cat Mueller, Dionisia Salas, Rebecca Selleck and Rosalind Lemoh.

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Art Month Collectors' Space

- curated by Kate Britton, 2018

1 to 17 March

Art Month's much-loved Collectors' Space exhibition is back, offering a glimpse into the private collections of some of Sydney's art luminaries.

This year, Artistic Director, Kate Britton, has focused on the complex and entangled relationships collectors have with the objects in their care. Occupying the entirety of MAY SPACE, Collectors' Space will run from 1 - 17 March, and feature works from the collections of Abdul Abdullah, Tony Albert, Tess Allas, Daniel Mudie Cunningham, and Emma Price.

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Todd Fuller, UNITE project

- Black Box Projects, 2018

1 to 17 March

In the face of the postal plebiscite, Sydney based artist Todd Fuller made a third iteration of his video, "Unite Project", the first edition shown for Mardi Gras 2016. This project is a participatory artwork surveying a range of responses to love and marriage equality.

Fuller sent members of the public black + white drawings depicting two men engaged in a passionate kiss. The participants were encouraged to respond to the image by colouring in the figures, with the resulting images complied by Fuller into a mixed media video animation.

"The bulk of responses were overwhelmingly positive, although I did receive a few drawings that were torn up, crushed or with the eyes violently poked out, the vast majority of responses depicted love, support, rainbows and strength. It was a really important project for us when it started and in the face of the postal plebiscite, it felt more important than ever to illustrate the shift in views on this issue through art", says Fuller.

"In the end, nearly a thousand people engaged in the process of having received, responded and returned the drawings, each one becoming a single image in the thousands of stills edited together into the animation. The ritual used in the original process seems quite apt as our community faced a postal vote to decide our rights… and so "Unite Project - 3rd generation" was born".

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On-site

- curated group exhibition, 2018

7 to 24 February

Simple lines and forms constantly surround us. We house ourselves in geometrical shapes, work in towering blocks and marvel over inventive configurations of contours and boundaries. On-site brings together a group of artists with differing aesthetics who have chosen the built environment as the subject of their work. Interpreting urban landscapes, enlivening industrial sites and representing domestic structures, the artworks in this exhibition will reveal the unnoticed elements, hidden moments and engaging angles of our everyday surroundings.

Featuring Sybil Curtis, Todd Fuller, Darren Gannon, Eliza Gosse, Waratah Lahy, Glenn Locklee, Kevin McKay, Catherine O’Donnell.

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Caroline Garcia, peripheral (en)vision

- Black Box Projects, 2018

7 to 24 February

peripheral (en)vision is a survey of Garcia's video and performance practice over the last five years. This selection of video works focuses on centering peripheral bodies, presenting the gaps between cultures, experiences of otherness, and timeless clichés of exotic femininity. In peripheral (en)vision, Garcia takes an intersectional approach to contemporary dance, reimagining forgotten choreographies, alternate ways of viewing images of the past that eschew classical myths with the aim to bring visibility to the subaltern.

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