Painthing (as one): AEAF 16 April – 5 May 2010
Lion Arts Centre, North Tce [West End] Adelaide South Australia
Tuesday – Friday 11am-5pm
Artists have been invited to respond to seven considerations regarding the compelling nature of painting. The title refers to the whole of this exhibition as constituting a discreet body of ‘painting’, one that might inclusively construct, amongst other things, a local constellation. This constellation might then be referred to as ‘painting’, and be located within a local universe called ‘art’; in time this constellation might become known, but probably only to its very particular inhabitants, as the ‘painthing constellation’.
Painting. Painting, pain thing: painthing. Maybe this has happened to you too; you’re driving along a suburban street or you’re reading the label on the back of a tin of crushed tomatoes somewhere in a dim corner of a supermarket and suddenly a word, actually any word but this time it’s this word, gets caught on the sieve-like structure that divides your perception of ordinary action from an extraordinary something. Immediately the word as-it-is jumps out at you and you see it in its entire absurdity, its un-meaning, its limp body superimposed on the frenetic buzziness of the universal attraction and repulsion going on all around you. Then you begin to examine it, prod it for signs of its former life. Nothing. Something very surprising suddenly happens; its body becomes slowly absorbed into the phrenesis of action and reaction, memory and meaning, membrane and pulsing core. It continues to offer itself to this whole until the shape you once knew emerges elsewhere as another; different, but somehow the same. And then you try and understand (what else can you do, you’re stuck in a long check-out queue) how this word-—this painful thing actually—can simultaneously be both itself and other. You look around; people are still in the queue, shelves still stacked, fluoros still buzzing, cars still silently gliding by outside, tired smiles still being offered. And then you realize that almost everything (you think almost because somehow you feel it cannot be quite this absolute) is both itself and some other thing; inalienably itself, yet distantly other. Is a constellation like that? Are the celestial bodies and dust particles that form it simply an infinite collection of collections of otherness, each component offering a kaleidoscopic fragment of the whole, yet each simultaneously desiring both breathless proximity and vast expansive space in which to, utterly and defiantly, be that one thing it feels itself to be? And, what of breathless proximity? Ah, that, the as one-ness thing. I can’t speak of that. It’s not in my nature, I resolutely surmise, as I get to the check-out just in time.
Domenico de Clario, AEAF director