Mallee Routes exhibition 2019
Part of the draft statement for the Absent History section is:
Absent history refers to the process of erasure of the historical landscape in the white setter narratives, and, in the case of the first peoples, to destroy the physical evidence of any connection of these people to their land. The Mallee then becomes a place with no tangible past prior to the history of the clearing the land by the settlers; it is a place whose history prior to the British conquest is wiped out and re-written by the colonial settlers as the taming of a hostile land. Given the ongoing significance of this kind of silence there is a contemporary need for an act of remembering the past, and beginning to re-inscribe different meanings and histories of the landscape.
Part of the draft statement for the Space/place section is:
In the modern physicalist conception of the primacy of space over place, space is understood as pure extendedness that no longer stands in relation to any concept of boundedness (eg., the emptiness of the void of the atomists). Place on this account is a point or location in empty space. The materiality of places means that they are more than a location in extended space, a subjective construct, or a social construction ie., place as a mere product of psychological, social, or political structures and processes. Space is produced by capital and place has a dense materiality. It is a bounded or limited situatedness of existence that also has an openness.To be is to be in place or to be is to be placed. In the Mallee’s history spaces becomes places and places become spaces.
Part of the draft statement for the Unknown Futures section is:
We know that the future of the Mallee in the Anthropocene will be shaped by the effects of climate heating: there will be increased temperatures, less rain, more and longer drought, less runoff into the rivers and reduced river flows. How this will impact on agriculture and how will those living in the Mallee country respond or adapt is unclear and unknown. It is possible that we will come to know more about what we don’t know about being in a landscape haunted by its past and forthcoming future.
The Murray Bridge exhibition is more conceptual than the 2 previous Mallee Route exhibitions,m and it is tentatively orientated towards contemporary art. Some argue that it is possible to distinguish ‘contemporary art’ from art simply produced in the here and now, by saying that the purpose of ‘contemporary art’ is post-conceptual: ie., it engages in a critically reflective way with the world in which we live.
For many this world is the mediatized, networked, geopolitical entity we understand as a transnational, global phenomenon–ie., global modernity; but it is also our world in the historical present of the Anthropocene that is being shaped by climate heating.
The photographs in the forthcoming Murray Bridge exhibition are ‘oriented towards contemporary art‘ in the sense of a pointing towards, since contemporary art in this critical sense is not a medium, form, style or movement. It denotes an art that is premised on the complex historical experience and critical legacy of conceptual art; it is an artistic situation and that which conditions it, and it has a post-conceptual logic.