laredo 005 (NW view): partial view of two lengths of double-layered, woven fibreglass tape; 5cm x 500cm and 5cm x 750cm; laredo 005, abandoned caravan park / Holywell Street, Bunbury 2022

Exploring a vacant lot holds the surprise of possibilities. To me, as a 9-year-old, this meant roaming around suburban Vancouver/ Canada – often with my brother and our dog, Fluffy – to actively check out perimeters and contents. Anything unusual would hold our attention: a bounty of wizened apples, fragments of a bees-nest, miscellanies from a demolition, or simply something indefinable in the air.

 

Fast forward to another continent, decades later. Since moving to Bunbury/ Australia 3 years ago, an abandoned caravan park next to the Indian Ocean has been an inexplicable attraction. Over repeat visits, a temporary intervention near the sole architectural remnant – a zig-zag sandstone retaining wall – seemed inevitable. After experimenting with visibility/ scale/ material, white fibreglass tape became the intermediary. Two different lengths, matching the wall’s ‘zigs,’ were dense enough to lay on the ground yet lightweight to slightly flutter.

Lasting one hour, including photo documentation, on an early morning in springtime, nothing really remains of laredo 005 except the memories of contextualising this special site with attentive recollection and a symbolic act.

 

 

Intervention images: laredo 005
Intervention statement: laredo 005  

 

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laredo 004 (NW view): 
two timber and particleboard T-shaped beams; each (overall) 130cm x 4cm x 15cm; laredo 004, restored Arrol Gantry Electric Crane / Jetty Road, Bunbury 2022; image by Paul MacGillivary

 

The laredo series happily resumed last week with 004. Two slim white T-beams, found on the streets of Melbourne, were balanced on opposite steel girders of a restored gantry crane in Bunbury / Western Australia. This intervention looked like an equal sign except the alignment was a bit asymmetrical. True to form, it lasted for a few minutes… and with enviable aplomb!

 

Taking cues from laredo 001, “Art seems to be a physical condensation expanded by metaphysically editing - yet uniting - the past and the future.” Evidence of a simultaneous ‘attemptation’ existed in the present via 004.

  

Intervention images: laredo 004
Intervention statement: laredo 004

  

For a recent video of Transport WA's jetty + crane revitalisation project click here

 

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A surprise invitation zinged across my desk last month on 21st May. Luz Amparo @ Alfa Gallery in Miami selected my work via Instagram + this very website (!), and thought it would be be a wonderful addition to their roster of artists. 

The gallery's aesthetic was in alignment and Alfa's presence on Artsy completed the allure. My only hesitation was that I do site-specific/-generated solo installations - rather than production of numerous pieces - but that reaction was, obvious in retrospect, superceded by "Mmmmm OH YES! Let's give it a whirl!"

For a peek...

https://www.artsy.net/partner/alfa-gallery/artists/amarie-bergman

 

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"Whenever you look at light, basically it's just air. It has no tactileness to it. It's totally without density."


Robert Irwin, untitled (dawn to dusk), 2016, permanent collection, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, photo by Alex Marks © 2020 Robert Irwin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

"To be an artist is not a matter of making paintings or objects at all. What we are really dealing with is our state of consciousness and the shape of our perceptions."


Robert Irwin, Two Running Violet V Forms 1983, University of California San Diego, two fencelike structures in V-forms amidst eucalptus trees, blue-violet, plastic-coated, small gauge chain-link fencing supported by stainless steel poles, approx. 25' / 7.62m height, Stuart Collection

 

 

para 1: via Los Angeles Times 2010 A flowering of activity for Robert Irwin, 81

para 2: via Art Forum International 1977 Robert Irwin's recent work [The State of the Real. Part I, Jan Butterfield, Arts Magazine, Sunnier 1972, page 48]

 

current exhibition: Light & Space, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen, 3 December - 4 September 2022

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Amarie Bergman, installation view of Luxelles with 3 of 4 components; 12-26 March 2022, PS Art Space, Fremantle; image courtesy of the artist 

 

 

The brilliance of light mesmerises! In PS Art Space's upstairs gallery, the light is almost irresistible. Linked with the unique, historical architecture, it has an ambient evanescence that was recently, ever so temporarily, accentuated by the presence of Luxelles.

 

The three weeks when this site-specific and conceptually experimental exhibition existed - including 3 days to install the work - happened to be during the 3rd (+) decade of climate change neglect, the 3rd year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 3rd week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Dark /uncertain /troubling times… but really they're not without the perpetual presence of clear ideals, active altruism, and innumerable glimmers of hope.

By conceiving enlightenment through fragile objects, Luxelles became a phenomenological agent of refinement.

 

 

12-26 March 2022

for photos (by Susie Blatchford of Pixel Poetry): glide over to this link
for exhibition statement + detailed floor list: click here 

Special appreciation to Paul R. MacGillivary, Mat Carey, and Guilhem Thérond

 

 

PS Art Space
https://www.psas.com.au/pages/archives/luxelles/ 

22-26 Pakenham Street
Fremantle AU 6160

 

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"There’s only a certain amount of control you can have over a situation. I’m interested in working in that area in which the mind can no longer hold on to things. The point at which all ideas fall apart."


Fred Sandback, Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seventeen-part Right-angled Construction), red acrylic yarn, 1985/2006 situational: spatial relationships established by the artist; overall dimensions vary with each installation, courtesy David Zwirner Gallery

 

 

"My knitting-yarn sculpture is a somewhat distant cousin to some other string games. Maybe the one that uses the most space is kite flying. But the one that is the oldest, and the most universal, is cat’s cradle. Indians, Eskimos, Bushmen, and many other cultures around the world have had games like cat’s cradle since before anyone can remember...Often cat’s cradle is about making a little place—just for yourself, or to share with someone...you can put it in your pocket when you’re busy with something else, and take it out again when you’re not. Although, as you can see, it’s not so hard to build big things like my sculpture. All it takes is a ball of string. If you were feeling a little adventurous, you could even wrap up your whole house."



Fred Sandback, Untitled (Red Floor Piece), 1/16-inch diameter red elastic cord and red acrylic on steel, 4.1 x 11.4 x 670.6cm: first iteration 1967 Summer Group Show. Yale School of Art and Architecture, New Haven, Connecticut (in Sandback's studio)

 

 

para 1: via Hyperallergic 2016 The Point at Which All Ideas Fall Apart: Fred Sandback: Grand Illusions 

para 2: via A Children’s Guide to Seeing by Fred Sandback, made to accompany his 1989 exhibition of yarn sculptures at the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum (also see On Needing A Place to Play and Letting Your Fingers Think)

current posthumous exhibition: Fred Sandback, Foundation CAB, Brussels, 7 September 2021 - 26 June 2022

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"
Only with the pigment drawings, where the technique has given me a known way in through many years of practice, do I have a consistent entrance. For the rest of it — the photo work, writing, watercolor drawings, artist’s books, the sculpture installations and the occasional performance — the entrance comes by discovery each time: a thought or unexpected insight, a misunderstanding, a coincidence, a mistake, a moment that separates out from previous ones."


Roni Horn, Air Burial, cast glass 2017-2018, Pola Museum of Art, Hakone 2021-2022, photo by Masaya Hudaka



"...the “what it looks like” bit only comes in after the exploration, in a sense. It evolves out of the exploration. To have that option kept open until the very end or close to the end is very high risk for me. But then again, in my work, things do come to an end. They don't they don't just keep going on. So my point is, there's nothing until there's something — and that's a high risk proposition."


Roni Horn, Gold Field (left) 99.99% pure gold foil (annealed) 1980/1994; and Bouquet of Emily (right) solid aluminum and cast white plastic, 1 of 6 parts, 2006-07, Pola Museum of Art, Hakone 2022, photo by Koroda Takeru


para 1: via The New York Times 2021 Roni Horn Shares a Timely Record of Solitude 

para 2: via The Talks 2021 Roni Horn: There's Nothing Until There's Something 

 

current exhibition: When you see your reflection in water, do you recognize the water in you? Pola Museum, Hakone Japan, 18 September 2021 – 30 March 2022

 

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Lawrence Weiner, courtesy Thaddaeus Ropac https://ropac.net/artists/88-lawrence-weiner/


Maybe, beyond a retrospective exhibition, the most enduring ways for an artist to be remembered are with printed exhibition catalogues / reviews and online videos. The most endearing way is, without a doubt, a personal experience.

Lawrence Weiner passed away this week: he was - for me - an icon of experimental, witty and quixotically empathetic art. I was fortunate enough to see his work - along with pieces by Matthew Higgs and John Baldessari - @ The Apartment in Vancouver CA. Here's the link to my interview back in 2008 with the gallery's director:

https://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/with-lee-plested-from-apartment/1280

 

The last words of this mini vale are epitomised by Lawrence Weiner himself.

 

Lawrence Weiner, As Long As It Lasts, 1992/2008, [photo, Lee Plested 2008] courtesy The Apartment

 

 

 

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