Download catalogue here
Inside every atom there is an agitation.Mitrochondriac urges generate cellular energy with relentless persistence. This inexhaustible dynamism is the grist in our mill: it is the solid we push up against as we give and take form.
To allow something to simply ‘become’, to find its own form propelled entirely by its own innate volition runs counter to the striated nature of civic society. It is almost uncivilised.Akin to a base wildness,like bulldozing buildings,errant immorality or radical, anarchic freedoms, this relinquishing of control allows form to extend beyond its function. Instead, matter is encouraged to take its own form and sit how it may, without the back supports and braces of our controlling ways.
Everyday Rebellions at Gertrude Contemporary begins in the front gallery with a contamination.Victoria Overell’s spilt mixture of copper sulphide and water collects under foot,to be spread marking,virus-like throughout the galleries. There are copper coins oxidising in salt water,endlessly bubbling and staining, eating themselves with their interminably hungry activation.To touch Overell’s shroud-like wall-hanging, dyed with copper sulphide, for too long would stain the fingers chalky blue, irritating the pores into rashes.
In slow motion another work collapses. Kitty Kraus’ inky black ice-cube,“Untitled”, 2006,has been embedded with a burning yellow light bulb, the heat of which causes the cube to slump, melting into a black puddle in the corner of the front gallery.Guided by the artist from liquid to solid through freezing, the light bulb then frees the material to return to liquid, only to dry and crust into a solid once more.Tricked into mimicry through the addition of heat,the work is urged across thresholds by its own dumb volition. No longer constrained,the story of these materials seeks out its space, spreading over the vagaries of the floor, dipping between vinyl folds, and swelling the boards beneath.
In Particle Physics in order to activate reactions between particles and compounds one must add what is referred to as activation energy.This energy can just as easily be reversed or mangled, subverting intended activations and thwarting function in preference for a perceived innate intention.
Silently, in the dark room Danica Chappell activates the innate properties of light. She moves Perspex pieces atop photographic paper flicking the enlarger on and off,imprinting the activities of her hands.With the act of seeing distilled into light registering on photographic paper there is an immediacy about her large photographic works. It is photography without a camera capturing light at play with itself, as if Chappell is divining light’s needs, slicing colour with shadow and playing opacities off against each other. Each haptic movement is captured,embedded and stained on the paper.
Entering the main gallery of Gertrude Contemporary causes the muscles to contract, and the shoulders to clench.A tense staccato sound emits from a monitor in the far corner,a relentless amplified dripping,and the room is lit with the dim red of a photographic safe light. Paused in this other place, one feels measured and counted by the metronome-like beat. Hung
at regular pulse-like intervals is a series of framed photographs by Dane Mitchell.To create these works Mitchell concocted a perfume, which emulated the smell of an empty room, which he then sprayed upon light sensitive photographic paper.This paper was then left unfixed,framed and packaged under safe lights. Presented under photographic safe lights the work is perpetually paused in the act of becoming.