The 2016 Shimmer Photographic Biennale will take place in the City of Onkaparinga in Adelaide, South Australia between 2 September and 2 October. Shimmer at the Magpie Springs gallery is Weltraum.
Weltraum itself refers to world (Welt) and space (Raum). Literally translated it means ‘world room’. As an photo-based exhibition Weltraum refers to worlds or spaces waiting to be explored and opened up by Australian photo artists. The exhibiting photo-artists in Weltraum are Judith Crispin, Jeff Moorfoot, Stuart Murdoch, Gilbert Roe, Gary Sauer-Thompson and Beverley Southcott.
The curatorial idea behind Weltraum is based around photo-media artists working on long term projects over a couple of years. This slow photography develops critical and poetic insights. The exhibition presents some work in progress from 6 projects, some of which includes lens-based film based photography.
The image below is a behind the camera shoot of Gary Sauer-Thompson photoshoot along the Mallee Highway for his silo project. Several images from this project —in black and white and colour— will be featured in Weltraum:
silo, Galah, Mallee, Victoria
Philosophically speaking the curatorial idea underpinning the work in progress of long term projects is that of a qualitative multiplicity. Multiplicity originates from a folding or twisting of simple elements. Like a sand dune, a multiplicity is in constant flux, though it attains some consistency for a short or long duration. Qualitative multiplicities differ in kind from one another, and their porous boundaries suggests ways in which things creatively evolve to form new and surprising assemblages. Qualitative multiplicities are associated with poetics, painting, writing etc. Continue Reading…
The Mallee project is now up and running. It kinda came together, spontaneously. How about that?
Our initial meeting earlier this week at Henley Beach to kickstart the Mallee project was able to take place because Eric Algra had flown over to Adelaide from Melbourne to work for a week on his new Elizabeth project. It was a fruitful meeting that covered a lot of ground. All of us share a fascination with the Mallee, its history, and its social and agricultural landscape. This is a dry, hot region featuring sand dunes, salt bushes, shrubs and strange dwarf gum tree, Eucalyptus Dumosa, usually called Mallee. What’s more we are are comfortable in each other’s company.
We–Eric Algra, Gilbert Roe and myself — reckoned that we would have enough work from our previous road trips to the Mallee to have a modest group exhibition this year. This initial exhibition, which kicks the public side of the project off, will be in October at Atkins Photo Lab’s new gallery space in Adelaide. This is at the same time as APSCON16 is happening in Adelaide— that is, the annual conference of the Australian Photographic Society, which is the national body of the very active, state based camera clubs.
garage, Tailem Bend
This is the first time that I will have worked on a project with a group of photographers, and it will be interesting to see how the project develops over the next few years, as we continue to build up a body of work from our future road trips and exhibit in various towns and cities. Maybe we could exhibit online or bring some writers or poets in? It’s envisaged as a multidimensional project.
Whilst I am travelling around, and camping in, selected locations in South Australia and Victoria to photograph the silos for the silo project, I am slowly starting to broaden out to photograph the landscape that the silos are situated in along with the nineteenth century regional architecture . This is a photography of “what-has-been”, a tracing of some past moment as it were, but one that has an ongoing presence in the present, is part of an attempt to regain a historical understanding of the region.
I have been looking at the Geoff Wilson’s South Australian landscapes as well as Eric Algra’s Postcards from Forgotten Places and Postcards in Colour in the context of my South Australian regional landscape portfolio. Wilson and Algra have explored South Australia before me and they have been exploring locations along the roads that I’m starting to travel on. The work they have done acts as signposts in a region that is largely unknown to me. Their digital imaging are historical markers in an image culture that is dominated by the mass media whose feedback loop constitutes a serious challenge to historical consciousness and critical thinking.
Algra, for instance, has extensively explored
the Mallee whilst on his trips
between Melbourne and Adelaide and his crisscrossing the South Australian Mallee
. His keen eye for what is significant for people living in the Mallee, and his inputs into South Australia’s visual culture, highlights the richness of photography’s contribution to the way we see the world. Algra’s vernacular photography is not part of the academic writing and its conversation about photography in Australia because that writing is still primarily a narrative of photography’s aesthetic aspirations
and the great names of the photographic canon. In Australia, like the United States, photography entered through art history and so photographs were studied as aesthetic objects using formalist methods.
One of the side trips on the Mallee Highway silo photoshoot in Victoria was to look for, and scope, edgelands around Ouyen to continue part two of the project. I did this on the last day when it was bright and sunny and of no use to me for taking photos of silos with a large format camera. Bright and sunny is normal in the Victorian Mallee, with overcast days being the exception. From my travelling around I could see that the Mallee is a specialist grain growing areas diversifying from livestock production (sometime in the 1980s).
I spend the Wednesday morning driving around the boundaries of the town and I stumbled on this behind the golf course just over a kilometre form the centre of town:
felled trees, Ouyen
It wasn’t private land so I wandered around to have a look. The trees were being felled so that large basin could be dug out. I kept on walking around to discover why a basin here. A sign lying on the side of the road said that this basin that was under construction was for a man made recreational lake. It’s ambitious as it 700 metres long by 200 metres wide, with a depth of five metres when full, and it will cover about 14 hectares. Continue Reading…
Another 8×10 road trip will be taking place next week. This time it is a road trip through the Mallee in South Australia and Victoria in order to photograph the silos along the Mallee Highway. I will be camping at Ouyen in Victoria with Gilbert Roe. Let’s hop the weather has cooled down by then.
I scoped this last year during the spring when I was on my Canberra trip with both the digital Sony NEX-7 and the old Rolleiflex SL66. I will be using an 8×10 camera ( for black and white) and a 5×7 camera ( for colour). The project works in the tradition of the aesthetic as a realm of experience being separate from the instrumental thinking of both daily life and the market’s economic reason.Though the approach is historical in orientation it will be quite different to the road trips of David Marks between 2001-6 where he used Diana and Polaroid cameras.
I cannot remember the individual silos in the small towns.For instance I cannot recall which town on the Mallee Highway this particular silo is in that I made with the Rolleiflex SL66. Maybe it was around Walpeup or Underbool in Victoria:
silo+house, Mallee Highway
I never took any notes on the trip. I was just scoping the various silos to see if this economic architecture could constitute a conceptual type photography project—-something along the lines of ’13 silos on the Mallee Highway’. It is conceptual in the sense that I first came up with the title, then proceeded to photograph the subject on one of my road trips from Adelaide (my hometown) to Tooleybuc just south of the River Murray . The work of art is to be the book itself, simply but carefully designed. Continue Reading…