11/4/07

Scott Miles

The Narrows, 2/141 Flinders Lane Melbourne, Oct-Nov 2007
wehavejoinedthe21stcentury_web-1
Somehow the accompanying text to this show really enhances the work in a way exhibition texts often don’t. The Narrows gallery provides a poster with an essay or creative text for each show. Not a new invention for a gallery, but they do it well.

To accompany his exhibition Paintings, artist Scott Miles has provided an extract from a fictional letter dated 1894. Signed Michel Marker, the invented nom de plume reads like a combo of Michel Foucault and artist/filmmaker Chris Marker – both have been proponents of the ideas at play in Miles’ paintings. Historical and futuristic architectural languages are mixed in works like ‘We have reached the 21st Century’, while an imagined heterotopic “other place” or parallel universe is presented in a painting of Flinders Street Station surrounded not by city traffic but grassy knolls. Many of the oil on board works are like travel shots, but unsettled, the truth of a place or time disrupted by memory or invention.
Rosemary Forde

4 Comments:

Blogger Jared Davis said...

As I didn’t have a chance to see the exhibition myself, I am foreign to the artworks, but the way in which the show's concept was extended in the exhibition text sounds very interesting. I find accompanying texts will often approach artworks with analytical, if not even empirical means of evaluating the work's inherent concepts, which may at times be slightly more abstract, or open for interpretation. It is quite an appealing thought that perhaps the best way to explain and enhance some artworks could be through the presentation of other (in this case written) artworks.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

Yeah I don't really know how often those sort of didactic texts are actually useful to the experience of an exhibition. But in this case of the artist as writer we definitely get something else, which engages and suggests without feeling an obligation to 'explain'.

I remember an art history lecturer of mine who was adamant that visual artists simply cannot write about art and shouldn't be expected to. I think Ad Reinhardt was his only exception to this rule, so obviously he hadn't really moved with the times!

3:24 AM  
Anonymous Geoff said...

Mike Kelley, for instance, has always written interrogative and advancing texts about his own work. The whole idea about what art should and shouldnt do obliges us to a society and culture that is pretty hard to believe in anyway. Our society has been making a war on representing what is actually happening for a long time now. People receive big rewards for obfuscating and making things seem more resloved than what they are.
We are all probably consuming and producing more than we mean to anyway, and its good to find some ways to represent this.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous michelle said...

i get really depressed when i think about most art writing in australia..it leaves me fairly uninspired. where did all the good writers go? I dont want an essay - id rather a voice, an opinion, a reading or understanding. The text Lizzie Newman had at her show for Neon Parc still resonates in my head, and a catalogue text Noel McKenna wrote for a show he did in NZ. Both these are by artists..
what weirds me out about Scotts show is we painted the same brick wall - and it looks totally different.

6:04 AM  

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