Edition of 80 vaccum-sealed cuttlefish ink photopolymer prints on egg pasta
To Resound, unbound
Curated by Jack Willet
Consider the artist as a surface, possibly solid and flat like marble, or soft and rippled like
foam, even a combination of the two. All surfaces resound or echo in some way, perhaps
softening or distorting, directly reiterating or if the surface allows there is the potential for
total absorption. To resound, unbound explores the possibilities of this resounding, seeing
the artist adapt or unbind that which comes to them, molding it to their artistic will, to then
resound it back through artistic expression.
Echoing throughout all four exhibition spaces, To resound, unbound presents a series of new
commissions and significant works from emerging and established lens-based practitioners
from across Australia. This group of eight artists explore themes concerning knowledge,
memory, identity, trauma, representation and time, typically found in both societal and
cultural structures and narratives.
The ways in which the artists engage with these rich themes sees a range of diverse material
outcomes, such as Hootan Heydari’s tome of 1,979 plaster-dipped photographs, presenting
shrouded fragments of traumatic (and joyfully familial) memory whose number reflect the
revolution the artist and his family fled. Sanja Pahoki’s installation of wallpaper, neon,
photography, video and security mirrors continues this discussion of memory, explicitly
explored through the idea of a “transitional object”, while also talking to larger ideas
surrounding transitions and separations, and the parental gaze. These highly conceptual
concerns are explored throughout the exhibition, seeing Callum McGrath working with
musicological presentation to display pages from his anonymous family photo-album
composed of public memorials dedicated to queer subjects and communities, questioning
how queer history and collective memory requires unconventional archival approaches. Sara
Oscar continues this discussion of the photographic archive, using the metaphor of ‘ruins’ to
look to her colonial past — tracing it through her late grandfather’s involvement in
Hollywood cinema in India, Oscar considers its bearing on the male bodies within the artists
family, and finds the trauma of British colonialism in fragments.
Traditional modes of photography have significant representation within To resound,
unbound. In a gridding of photographs across one of the gallery’s largest walls, Anne Moffat
explores her maternal grandmother’s suffering of late-stage Alzheimer's, a work of duality
that portrays Moffat’s experience of watching her grandmother lose her independence and
sense of self while the artist attempted to understand her own. A vast array of images
spanning over 10 years of artist Jessica Schwientek's life further the exhibition’s diverse
display of the photographic image. Schwientek presents both silver gelatin hand prints and
colour giclee prints that combine intimate portraiture, empty spaces and abandoned objects,
a collection of mirrors and shadows that are all representational of the self. Video work by
Hannah Brontë heightens the “moving” of the moving image, a work that ebbs and flows —
or swells — with the water that bulges across all corners of the planet, talking of time and the
absorption of one energy transmuted into a multitude of new energies. Here Brontë
specifically draws on the gestations of us — human beings, while also looking at the spherical
nature of the world and the way in which we come through and leave it. While Emmaline
Zanelli uses video to house the making of an image, enlisting her grandmother alongside her comrades to depict a key moment in Futurist history: Marinetti’s car crash, here rendered
through a domestic conveyor belt on egg pasta with the assistance of cuttlefish ink.
The remarkable diversity of all artistic elements — medium, concept, experimentation,
research, fabrication — reveals a group of artists that are truly immersed in their subject
matter and the optimal ways in which a myriad of themes can unbind themselves. To then
resound anew, each echoes across CCP’s spiraling chain of galleries as though through a
Medieval circular trumpet; each work produces a “buzzing” that triggers a standing wave
vibration within the space, extending outwards as a holistic representation of new creative
structures and narratives.
Emmaline Zanelli’s newly commissioned video work and accompanying prints are an extension on her recent artistic proposition that memory is a group exercise, and furthermore, it is work. Titled Crash Factory (Dynamic Decomposition) in reference to Futurist Umberto Boccioni’s painting of the same name, in content the video work — which documents the printing of an image — directly links to the moment the Futurist ideology really sparked, when Filippo Tommaso Marinetti crashed his car in 1908. The production of Zanelli’s photograph sees the artist’s grandmother, Mia, and her friends working together in a suburban dining room to create multiple copies of this key Futurist image onto sheets of pasta using an etching press. By considering parallels between aesthetics of manufacturing and the mechanics of memory, and proposing family legacy as a form of collective repetitive production, Zanelli’s work is distinctly misaligned with the violent prophecies of the Futurists, serving to instead heighten the relationship between the domestic and the industrial.
This work was commissioned by The Centre for Contemporary Photography for To Resound, unbound, an exhibition curated by Jack Willet featuring work by Hannah Bronte, Hootan Heydari, Callum McGrath, Anne Moffat, Sara Oscar, Sanja Pahoki, Jessica Schweintek & Emmaline Zanelli.