(in collaboration with John Vella)
CONSTANCE Artist Run Initiative, Hobart, TAS
December 6, 2013 – January 4, 2014
Dirty Big Whole reveals processes in parallel: an abstraction of funding, access, permission and action; and the siphoning of a ‘permanent’ local, public artwork into the ‘temporary’ space of an artist run initiative.
Dirty Big Whole examines public and private experience, endorsement, expectation and potential.
Dirty Big Whole presents a series of tenuous footings; an inquiry into the (in)stability of the physical, social and political terrains of art institutions (such as Artist Run Initiatives).
Bleach has undertaken negotiations with Hobart City Council to temporarily remove the permanent Artbikes public artwork, located on the footpath directly outside CONSTANCE gallery. The Artbike cavities have been in-filled with plate aluminium, the material used for the Artbikes’ fabrication, replacing figurative representations with abstract geometric forms. Inside the gallery space, the footing armature of each Artbike sculpture has been reconstructed and protrudes from the gallery’s walls, revealing the typically unseen infrastructure, and siting the footings in a new transitional ground.
Vella’s works on paper respond to permissions and protocols connected to events directly related to this gallery space. The ‘Arts Tasmania funding for Organisations’ and ‘Arts Tasmania Acquittal’ forms, in addition to the Hobart City Council forms acquired by Bleach to remove the Artbike sculptures, are re-presented with their requisite texts erased. As a series of muted and mediated codes, they reveal permissions as compositions; abstract sedimentations reunited in situ with the material, space and artefacts they relate to.
The bitumen and subterranean material that previously filled the Artbike cavities has been transferred directly into the gallery space. Bleach and Vella have subsequently blended this sediment with additional material sourced from other local holes, currently under excavation.
Photo credits: Peter Mathew