5 September -
4 October 2014
200 Gertrude Street200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Opening: Friday 5 September 2014, 6pm—8pm
And it was all yellow…
- some dude.
It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
In this solo exhibition, Tasmanian based artists Mish Meijers and Tricky Walsh presented a new iteration of their ongoing work The Collector Project.
The project examined the fictional character Henri Papin and his world, proclivities and behaviours through the proclivities and behaviours of the observer. In doing so the exhibition positioned the audience as mirrors to our surroundings. The collector 12: paroxysm examined this image of self and other which shifts or reveals itself to be assumptions based on superficial guidelines; costume, gesture, speech. Meijers and Walsh, as two female artists inhabiting the mind of a fictional male character, refer to moments in history when it has been necessary to adopt an entire gender as a cloaking mechanism.
The slipperiness of fiction allowed many contradictory realities in this non-linear narrative that actively slides between actuality and fantasy with little loyalty to either. The artists say of the project:
This story has decidedly jumped tracks. All truth from here on, should be taken with both a grain of salt, and a suspension of disbelief, as this exhibition in particular is more about the act of the transition than in explaining to the audience what was or what will be, although there are recurrent symbols used which might suggest one thing or another.
The architectural and sculptural constructions in the exhibition variously engaged transience and inactivity. They asked the audience to make decisions about the narrative of the work and to chart delineations between past and present, truth and fiction, active and passive. The project also examined madness in relation to gender difference and specifically the early perception of the female body as an inarticulate puppet possessed by the ailments of the mind. In this way Meijers and Walsh addressed, through history, women’s bodies as mute public possessions interrogated by societal scrutiny.
Meijers + Walsh are Tasmanian based artists who each maintain rigorous solo and collaborative practices. In 2014 they were in their ninth year of collaborating on The Collector Project. The exhibition outcomes of this project manifested as immersive, large-scale sculptural installations and performance. In 2012 Meijers and Walsh were awarded a Qantas Foundation Art Encouragement award and were commissioned to make new works for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Monash University Museum of Art and the privately funded Detached Cultural Organisation. They were included in the 2013 Mona Foma festival, organised by the Museum of Old and New Art. The Collector project has been a recipient of grants through The Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Tasmania and the Rosamund McCulloch studio award. Meijers and Walsh have undertaken residencies in New York and Paris.