SEPTEMBER AT VERGE :: BRUTES, AND STUCK IN THE MUD
September 1 – September 24, 2016
Brutes // Roomsheet :: HERE
Stuck in the Mud // Roomsheet :: HERE
GALLERY 1 :: DAVID MANLEY :: BRUTES
Brutes are a selection of works from the Ambivalent Structures Series’ 2015 which interrogates the latent connection of the bunker with the urban terrain, channeling its psychological influence while addressing contemporary anxieties regarding power and control. Military bunker facilities have long been the subject of intense interest for artists and architects, particularly since the end of the Cold War. Their presence has been linked to discourse surrounding developments in modernism, minimalism in art, and architectural brutalism.
Bunker construction occurred on a massive scale during the Second World War with the building of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, a series of fortifications that was intended to stretch along the entire west coast of Europe and Scandinavia. The Atlantic Wall’s construction employed new types of reinforced cement moulding technologies that are still in use. Imposing and monolithic, these structures retain a deeply ambivalent nature, as they can be at once places of security and danger, of refuge and warfare, and indeed of life and death. Cold War secrecy served only to heighten the bunker’s psychological power within the civilian population; their hidden presence fuelled the imagination of populist culture of the time in films such as Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove (1964), while writers such as J.G. Ballard pondered their influence on urban infrastructure and the post-war utopian aspirations of city planners in works such as Concrete Island (1974) and Crash (1973). Here, manifestations of the bunker and its effect on the psychology of Ballard’s characters were conjured through the run-down tenement tower blocks, motorway exit ramps, multi-story car parks and pedestrian underpasses of the built environment.
Ambivalent Structures is a visual and textural exploration of the aftermath of modernity through its attendant buildings and structures that are inextricably linked to the violence of war, pondering their psychological influence on the individual.
GALLERY 2 :: CONNIE ANTHES, GLENN BARKLEY, AMANDA BROMFIELD, KUBA DORABIALSKI, RACHEL McCALLUM, HOLLY MACDONALD, KATY B PLUMMER, MADELEINE PRESTON, ELOISE RANKINE, ASHLEY SCOTT, BEV SHROOT :: STUCK IN THE MUD
Curated by Madeleine Preston, Stuck In The Mud presents an archive for a revolution that has already occurred. Loosely based on early 20th Century Russian agitprop or agitation propaganda. Mimicking different revolutionary art and craft objects Stuck in the Mud stretches definitions of craft and art.
Stuck in the Mud will include ceramic works by Connie Anthes, Glenn Barkley, Amanda Bromfield, Holly Macdonald, Rachael McCallum, Eloise Rankine and Madeleine Preston all current and past members of the Sydney ceramics studio collective kil-n-it. Also exhibiting are Katy B Plummer with textile works, Ashley Scott with sound works, and Kuba Dorabialski and Bev Shroot with video works. Stuck in the Mud commemorates a revolution where art won, or did it? Step into Verge this September and enter the revolutionary archive. See unearthed works that celebrate the art versus craft revolution.