untitled (the tyranny of distance)
14 August - 11 October 2008
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) presents an immersive new installation by Jonathan Jones.
Six walls covered in blue tarpaulin glow with filtered light from fluorescent tubes articulated in a continuous chevron design. The chevrons are derived from elements of traditional Koori (South Eastern Aboriginal) line work and resonate with Western minimalism.
While visitors are able to walk around the perimeter of the installation and bathe in its light, they are allowed only sightlines between each wall. This lack of physical access in untitled (the tyranny of distance) sets up a dynamic of intimacy versus exclusion alluding to a sense of longing, alienation and lost or secret histories.
untitled (the tyranny of distance) was conceived following the implementation of the continuing Northern Territory Intervention.(1) It is concerned with access and its prohibition and is particularly relevant at a time of changing government policies in relation to Indigenous housing.
1. MAIN EXHIBITION SPACE
untitled (the tyranny of distance), 2008
aluminium, tarpaulin, fluorescent tubes and fittings
6 walls, each 3.4 x 1.9 x 8.27 m
commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney
courtesy the artist, Gallery Barry Keldoulis and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney
2. SCAF OUT-SITE
emu eggs, fluorescent light and perspex
courtesy the artist, Gallery Barry Keldoulis and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney.
Jonathan Jones has conceived of the SCAF OUT-SITE as a benign art incubator for multiple layers of stacked, found emu eggs, illuminated by fluorescent light.
Emu eggs, with their distinctive, dark, green-blue shell were carved and painted as decorative objects by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in southeast Australia during the late nineteenth century.
Associations may be drawn between genesis and untitled (the tyranny of distance). While the egg has universal (and intimate) connotations as a symbol of wholeness and new life, its use as an art object disallows this potential.