Benjamin Forster, Ida Lawrence, Jac Ball, Magda Stanová, Mark Hislop. Mitch Cairns, Nina Ross, Phuong Ngo, Pilar Mata Dupont
Curated by Jasmin Stephens
Opening Saturday 3 August at 2pm
Opening remarks by writer Astrid Lorange
Exhibition dates 3 to 31 August 2019
The essayist is an exhibition inspired by the literary form of the essay. It presents work characterised by the exacting thinking, careful observation and increasingly confessional aesthetic associated with contemporary essay writing. It is a mode of writing that has come to prominence through writers such as Maggie Nelson and Teju Cole. Against this backdrop of recent attention to first-person writing and the rise of digital readership, today’s essay making – at turns memoir, poetry, philosophy and criticism – is shaped by theoretical shifts relating to feminist, non-binary and embodied approaches to thought and feeling.
The exhibition and its works are not intended to replicate the format of the essay. Their cumulative effect might be to represent or elicit the qualities of an essay. In this exhibition, the artists are addressing a range of concerns. Their works explore private and shared cognition, sensation and allegiances across the body, language, landscape, history and family and include citations and influences drawn from disciplines such as cultural geography, environmental humanities and neuroscience. While reflecting a kind of essayistic disposition, they express different relationships to materials and to considerations of sensibility, structure and form.
Mark Hislop is represented by Wagner Contemporary, Sydney; Mitch Cairns is represented by The Commercial, Sydney; and Pilar Mata Dupont is represented by Moore Contemporary, Perth
Magda Stanová, from the series Algorithms in Art, 2015-19,
Ambiguity, ink on paper, 42 x 30 cm, 2019
Pilar Mata Dupont, The Madman is a Dreamer Awake #1, 2013-15, glicée print, 80 x 120 cm, edition of five, Courtesy MOORE CONTEMPORARY, Perth
Magda Stanová, from the series Algorithms in Art, 2015-19, The phantom could represent an artist, and the detectives, people who visit his/her shows., ink, acrylic, and inkjet print on paper, 35 x 53 cm, 2019
Ida Lawrence, Idris, 2018, detail, acrylic on canvas, 138 x 108 cm
Phuong Ngo, Saigon Notre Dame Basilica, found postcard from The Vietnam Archive Project, 2010-ongoing
Nina Ross, That takes Balls, 2019, video still