5th – 23rd October 2011
Opening Wednesday, October 5th, 6-9pm
Darren Cook, Scot Cotterell, Laura Hindmarsh, Nadine Kessler, Jacob Leary, Ben Ryan, Nicola Smith, Robert O’Connor
Best Show is the second half of an exchange project between the artist run initiatives INFLIGHT (Hobart, TAS) and FELTspace. In July 2011 FELTspace presented DARK/LIGHT at INFLIGHT. Best Show will see the Inflight board present plans for unrealised and unrealisable ‘dreamworks’. This project reflects the growing role that artist run initiatives are playing in forging national relationships between emerging arts communities within Australia.
A practicing artist may bite off more than he or she can chew. At some point the scale, the expense, the impracticality of a work can get in the way and ugly reality sets in. A work in the mind’s eye can be realisable until one begins the process. Maybe that point of view continues, maybe the artist is delusional. Perhaps there is a belief that one day, maybe, just maybe the dream can be realised – the greatest artwork of all.
we are collectively obsessed with the best, biggest, fastest, richest, strongest, smartest, prettiest… – DC
Consumer industry relies on the importance of the latest and greatest and this attitude has crept into art as much as anywhere else. Simply look at all the Biennales, Triennials, Art Fairs – they’re everywhere, every month somewhere in the world. Every branch of the Guggenheim or Pompidou Centre must by default appear to be prettier and better than the last. Art has increasingly high standards and nobody, of any generation, wants to be the one who drops the ball.
Bored shows: I think the idea came from thinking about limp board shows. We wanted to do something special for FELTspace so what could be more special than… gee I don’t know, how about the BEST SHOW ever? That was the idea anyway. I have a feeling that it may end up being a roomful of monkeys on typewriters, but hey…y’never know – ROC
The artist wants to challenge themselves and the audience, but is it a desire to create something so profound that it remains out of reach? Think of Vladimir Tatlin’s tower, so grand that there wasn’t enough resources in Russia to actually build it. Or Oldenberg’s numerous designs for public art projects. Think of Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau or Henry Darger – this compulsion towards satisfaction. The philosopher’s curse is that he fails by default.
In the end, is it preferable that the great artwork remains just a sketch, just an idea, a glint in the artist’s eye? Could it ever possibly live up to it’s promise?
SWOT Analysis: Key Performance Indicators, Performance Reviews, Occupational Health and Safety, Industry Best Practice, Material Data Safety Sheets, Mutual Obligation Agreements, Child Support Assessments, Employee Health and Wellbeing seminars, …don’t fuckin drop that new LCD screen. Fill in your time sheet. The Board of INFLIGHT.
DARREN COOK was born in Adelaide where in 2004 he completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts studying initially at the North Adelaide School of Art and then AC Arts. Now based in Hobart, Darren completed Honours at the University of Tasmania in 2010, where he is currently an MFA candidate. Originally a painter, Darren now works across a range of disciplines including video, sound, sculpture, performance and installation, and regularly works in collaboration with other artists, musicians, and performers. His recent practice is focused on relationships between live and recorded events.
SCOT COTTERELL was born in Victoria in 1979, and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Tasmania School of Art. Scot was nominated for the prestigious 2010 Qantas Foundation Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award and currently lectures part-time in Electronic Media at the University of Tasmania. Scot’s work is inter-disciplinary and concerned with responses to technology and media. His work uses sound, video, image and object to create environments that reflect upon cultural phenomena. Scot has curated exhibitions for CAST Gallery, the Plimsoll Gallery, and Boiler Room: National Improvisation Laboratory and performed at Salon Bruit – Berlin, Overtoom 301 – Amsterdam, ElectroFringe new media Arts Festival – Newcastle and Liquid Architecture 6, National festival of sound arts – Melbourne.
LAURA HINDMARSH’s work is an inquiry into the relations between production and representation. Her preoccupation with this space between a work’s construction and its reception permits little in the way of conclusions or the concrete, but rather, as she prefers, it represents opportunities for encounters with a work to remain ‘live’ and imminent, ineffable and in perpetual mediation. Covering a range of art forms including installation, photography, video projection and performance, her work is concerned with the medium and its limitations. Originally from Western Australia she recently relocated to Hobart and studied at the Tasmanian School of Art. Alongside her solo practice Laura continues to work collaboratively as part of the Inter Collective in performative and participatory installations.
NADINE KESSLER German born artist and designer has lived and worked in the USA, Switzerland and Australia. Her work evolves around language, culture and identity. This includes abstract codes and exploring linguistic peculiarities visually. Using manual letterpress and screen printing as well as digital media the artworks play with learned cultural behaviour, such as language, a code for human communication. Among other things Nadine designs typefaces in her Hobart based graphic design studio. She holds a position as lecturer of Advanced Typography at the University of Tasmania.
JACOB LEARY is a Hobart based artist who is currently completing a Masters degree after finishing his honours at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania in 2008. Jacob’s practise spans painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking and recently video, and currently utilises invented visual and informational systems which are extended through each medium. Previously a student of Architecture his practice often makes reference to technology & knowledge, progress & catastrophe and the place of human beings within these forces. Jacob is represented by Despard Gallery, Hobart and is currently a seasonal teaching member at the Hobart School of Art.
BEN RYAN completed the first part of his BFA at Sydney College of the Arts in 2008, deciding to cap his studies with honours the following year at the School of Art – University of Tasmania. Working primarily with video and sourced materials, his practice broaches a formal rigour within everyday objects and slapstick humour. Recent exhibitions include a collaboration with Louise Josephs, “Relegate”, at 6a ARI (2010), while in 2009 he was part of the group show “Names & Places” at First Draft ARI (Sydney), the “Post” project with the siteless 10% Pending group and a solo exhibition “Posted Pitch” at Inside/Out Gallery (Hobart). Alongside his artistic practice Ben has been project officer for Detached Cultural Organisation(2009-10), gallery assistant at Moonah Arts Centre (2009-10) and administration assistant for the state-wide arts festival Ten Days on the Island.
NICOLA SMITH paints. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sydney in 2002, and in 2009 relocated to Hobart to do her Honours year at The School of Art, University of Tasmania. Focusing on repetition and the process of making, recent shows have been at MOP Projects, Sydney, and Top Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart. In 2006 Nicola was a recipient of The MacDowell Colony fellowship, New Hampshire, USA. Last year she was a studio artist at Contemporary Art Services Tasmania (CAST), Nicola has recently returned to art school to do a Graduate Certificate in Lithography.
ROB O’CONNOR (b. Melbourne 1984) completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts [hon] at the University of Tasmania in 2007. In 2010, he was in residency at the Rosamund McCullough Studio, Cité International des Arts, Paris. In July of this year along with Tom O’Hern, Rob visited the Xu Village, a Ming dynasty Village in China to create works and take part in the Inaugural Shan Xi He-Shun International Arts Festival. He is represented by Bett Gallery, Hobart.
For more information about INFLIGHT A.R.I and projects: inflightart.com.au
This exhibition is part of the Festival of Unpopular Culture: 7th-16th of Oct. For more information: festivalofunpopularculture.com
This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts