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:
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.
The idea of a work in progress as a qualitative multiplicity suggests that the projects will creatively evolve to form new and surprising assemblages as the photo media project proceeds. The works in progress then are processes of becoming that are in constant movement; a constantly vibrating, fumbling, unfolding flux that divides up, does so constantly, and changes in kind in the process of dividing up. This opens up other worlds, new fields, and contexts.
An art project envisioned in terms of multiplicities is a complex structure that does not reference a prior unity. Multiplicities are not parts of a greater whole that have been fragmented, they cannot be considered to be manifold expressions of a single concept or transcendent unity (e.g., the One and the Many) and division implies change of nature.
One implication of this is that it shifts the focus of art away from the finished art object what we see in the gallery to the processes of creativity and so opens up the art project to potentiality, processuality and provisionality and creativity to history. The historical moments that we select for consideration as an art object may be regarded as snapshots of significance within the continuing stream of the time of the art project. They can be be interpreted as insights acquired through the effort of thinking in duration.