7 FEBRUARY – 1 MARCH 2014
Formed in 1992, The Charles Ives Singers have become a Melbourne Underground Institution. The group consists of renowned visual artists David Palliser, Alexis Ensor & Victor Meertens & Breadman (above). They released their first recording (cassette) as Those Naughty Rays, Yarraville 001, in 1992 & first performed live at The Toff on The Town in 2008, curated by Marco Fusinato. They do not rehearse or plan a gig as they rely on the stealth of being alive… They approach sound out of love for it. They are totally ready to fail in concert & sometimes come close. To be untrained in sound construction they consider a blessing. They view amateurism as a gift & intuition as their illogical ally. But as the man said, ”See them before they get better”. They play a mix of homemade & customary instruments with Victor performing free stream of consciousness vocals, his monologues often integrating daily news with touching personal observations with David P. on sax & percussion; Alexis as the cigar-box guitar virtuoso… It’s almost like driving a car on familiar roads & terrain but blindfolded. David Palliser was the heart of the legendary People With Chairs Up Their Noses. Alexis is one of the most important chroniclers of the Melbourne 80’s visual arts scene through his photographic archive. Victor cut his solo performance teeth during his Australia council fellowship year at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin 94/95. The Charles Ives Singers present an exhibition of new work as well as a series of live performances. Together they make mayhem an appellation.
Art historian Ursula Panhans-Bühler once used the term ‘impure minimalism’ to describe the sculptural works of German artist Thomas Rentmeister. For Panhans-Bühler, Rentmeister at once adapted the pictorial and stylistic vocabulary of Minimalism and at the same time dirtied it through the use of common and inexpensive materials. Panhans-Bühler’s terminology eventually evolved into ‘dirty minimalism’, which has in turn become a kind of catch phrase that currently follows Rentmeister around the world regularly popping up in the catalogue essays and press releases that accompany the exhibition of his work.
Co-curated by West Australian artists David Attwood and Shannon Lyons, Dirty is a reflection on and extension of the notion of ‘dirty minimalism’. The exhibition will present the works of a group of artists who employ the tenets of Minimalism in conjunction with historical, social, cultural and political content. These artists strive to evade the art historical readings of Minimalism’s Modernist heritage (as in its cold austerity, internal inflection and material objectivity) by infusing their work with external reference, reveling in disorder, politics, humour and the abject body.
The exhibition Dirty draws on a selection of protagonists working within the field of ‘dirty minimalism’ in Australia and beyond, bringing these convergent practices into conversation. Exhibiting artists include David Attwood, Rebecca Baumann and Shannon Lyons who live and work in Perth, WA and Marco Bruzzone and Thomas Rentmeister who both live and work in Berlin, Germany.
Detachment is a necessary evil. Emotion impairs good judgement. The enemy is calculating, cunning and cold. One year to learn the game. One year to beat the corporates.
In a bid to save a doomed lake in Queensland artist Bianca Tainsh joined forces with a throw together army of locals called Friends of Lake Weyba. With the aim of using creativity to power a feel-good form of activism the Friends found themselves in a battle where promotion and public popularity could just vanquish the big dollar clout of a cunning development company.
Exhausted Ideals uses video and installation to revisit a year of unexpected outcomes and personal trials. Utilising documentation Bianca re-presents her project through the eyes of the media, and examines what began as a political agenda but became a game in which lies, defamation and deceit versus arts shows, photo comps and the charms of a good-looking environmental scientist.
Bianca Tainsh is a Melbourne based artist who’s interdisciplinary practice reflects on the implications of contemporary life and examines commodification, technology and the environment. Many of her projects discount conventional expectations of artistic practice in their function, and often in their intent to elicit public action and involvement. Bianca has exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally, and she recently participated in a residency with LIA in Leipzig, Germany.