The Abyss: Strategies in contemporary art
With the capacity to elicit simultaneous experiences of pleasure and disgust, binding the sublime to the puerile, artists have employed strategies to generate schisms in the psyche: those moments where understanding is stalled, language fails, where chimeras or monsters are registered, and where taboos are challenged.
Legacies of boundary-challenging artists are resonant in the context of the 21st century, and this exhibition showcases the ways in which diverse Australian artists have developed strategies to contend with a world shaped by capitalist structures.
Artworks employ push-pull tensions of seduction and repulsion – towards the abject and informé, to the ornamental, erotic and transgressive, and those that consider historical grotesques to explore contemporary issues of race and identity.
Artists: Tony Albert, Hany Armanious, Gordon Bennett, Krista Berga, Anastasia Booth, Juan Davila, Karla Dickens, Chantal Fraser, Karl Fritsch and Francis Upritchard, Ian Haig, Louise Hearman, Gordon Hookey, Natalya Hughes, Emily Hunt, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Robert Pulie, Dieter Roth, Carolee Schneemann, Tim Schultz, Tyza Stewart, Sophie Takach, Wart, Jemima Wyman, Paul Yore