Hotel Australia

2001

 

I was commissioned to develop a piece in response to the Centenary of the Federation of Australia for the Melbourne Festival's Visual Arts Program, The Australia Projects, by Curator, Juliana Engberg. Hotel Australia is the commissioned work, on view at the RMIT Gallery, Storey Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne until June 2, 2001.

 

In my work I posit the history of modernism as a system of flows, erratic but inexorably moving, in many directions, waste from high point to low, with gravity toward concentration, fumes skyward, lines across and through rooms, electricity, spark, flare, illumination, elimination. Australia's history of modernism is inevitably removed from standard points of origin, and, as such, involves the contestation of source and influence, argued through notions of authenticity/inauthenticity, regionalism/nationalism, imperialism/internationalism—modernism itself a labile figure, used in the young nation to invoke positions right across the political spectrum. My Hotel Australia is a three dimensional diagram of this 'reception history'.—It is a skeletal structure clad only with anecdotes and opinions—about reproductions, imports, exports, publications. As a diagram about art history, there is very little 'art' to be seen. It is partial and necessarily incomplete.

 

Another view | Article in Festivities magazine