Discourses Ad Infinitum

Sheffer Gallery 2012


Discourses Ad Infinitum featured in Height x Width, a group exhibition of works by Sally Clarke, Paula Dawson, David Eastwood, Chelsea Lehmann, Damian Moss, Toshiko Oiyama, Sue Pedley and Kurt Shranzer at Sheffer Gallery, Sydney. 

The delimitation of 'height x width', a standard format used when cataloguing image-based artworks, belies the subtle and complex ways in which images can occupy space. Contrary to the predominantly screen-based nature of imagery in the digital age, the pairing of these dimensions posits the image as an entity of fixed proportions. And while the conspicuous omission of depth implies the intrinsic virtuality of the picture plane, for many artists the physical surface of the image is indispensible. In this exhibition, the classification of pictures as 'two-dimensional' is investigated through a range of practices variously located within or without the specific criteria of height and width. Height x Width examines the status of the image between virtuality and physicality, exploring pictorial conventions in relation to dimension, scale, temporality and ambiguity.  David Eastwood

Discourses Ad Infinitum (2012) consists of 116 pages removed from Joshua Reynolds' art directive, Discourses on Art.  The pages have been painted pink on both sides with the facing side covered in graphite.  The work is mounted onto the wall in a grid format, each page secured at just one point allowing it to react to the atmospheric conditions of the space.  Over time the pages curl to expose a hint of pink from the underside.  The pink underside also reflects onto the wall providing each page with a pink, queer aura while light reflects off the cool graphite-facing surface further preventing access to the text.

Discourses Ad Infinitum reflects upon the idea that meaning functions within and beyond the limits of a work's physicality to occupy dialogical and temporal space.  While knowledge is continually revised and negotiated, the scaffolding, the structures of authority through which it is constructed, evolve more slowly giving weight to the old adage that history repeats itself.  Yet always, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon: a new way of being, a new paradigm or process to be imagined.  Perhaps this new form is coloured pink?  As Yves Klein stated, '... colour is infinity ... colour is free.' Pink is disobedient. Sally Clarke,  artist statement.