Earlier weeks in September have been a little quieter than usual in Melbourne. There have been art fairs, events and exhibitions up in Sydney, so much of the Melbourne art world has been interstate either participating or viewing all that is on offer. Nevertheless, this was only one week during September, so there has still be some exceptional exhibitions on in Melbourne during this month. Heidi Museum of Modern art is presenting an extensive survey on Australian artists from different generations engaging with artistic sensibilities rooted in Constructivism, an exceptional solo exhibition by an earlier career female artist Isadora Vaughan at The Honeymoon Suite and a tight exhibition at Bus Projects by Daisy Watkins-Harvey.
Exhibition: Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art
Artist: over seventy Australian artists
Venue: Heidi Museum of Modern Art
Dates: until 8th October
This extensive survey of over seventy artists explores how Australian artists have responded to Constructivism art movement and illustrates an enduring call upon Australian artistic experimentation from the 1930s to the present day. Starting from the early influence of British constructivism on Australian painters and sculptors of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the exhibition traces a growing awareness of Russian Constructivism among artists of later generations through to contemporary practices. In keeping with the Constructivist impetus towards an integration of ideas across all the art forms, the display includes painting and sculpture, video and photography, the graphic arts as well as theatre and costume design by visual artists. Works by wide array of Australian artists Ralph Balson, Frank Hinder, Inge King, Gunter Christmann, George Johnson, Robert Owen, Rose Nolan, Justene Williams and Zoë Croggon, among many others are shown alongside those by key proponents of the original movement, such as Russian artists Rodchenko, Malevich, El Lissitzky and Alexandra Exter from Russia, and British artists Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth.
Exhibition: Recalictrant Bodies
Artist: Isadora Vaughan
Venue: The Honeymoon Suite
Dates: until 23rd September
Recalcitrant Bodies is a sculptural installation by Isadora Vaughan, which includes individual works and text by Clementine Edwards, Debris Facility, Amanda Horowitz and Aodhan Madden. Spanning across the entire gallery, Vaughan utilises steel, ceramic and glass to build a ground across the space, one that houses tender, sculptural manifestations of an imagined body’s interior. A poem by Clementine Edwards plays through earbuds strung up and threaded between a loose mobile of beeswax in the shape of a flying, mollusc-like coat hanger.
The poem charts a non-linear experience of violence. Textile and sculptural works by Amanda Horowitz draw, tape, glue, drag, burn, and prick pictures onto bodies. She disrupts the pattern or silhouette of cloth and readymade clothing, creating costumes and backdrops for a violently stylish theatre diorama - a cape that can be worn slung across the face of power. Circling around the space, Aodhan Madden contributes a series of small texts, dissolving, weeping, moving towards absorption. In 2016 Debris Facility made a film of a performance with Vaughan’s installation Cunjevoi exhibited at Station Gallery, Melbourne in 2016. Here, the film will be represented, absorbed, reiterating the messy lines of authorship and further subverting any claims of ownership that the individual works might once have made.Recalcitrant Bodies wills felt bodies out of a recipe of dissimilar ingredients, baking them into the building’s mass. It uses the context of material enquiry to engage in the politics of synthetics, feminism, ownership and trauma; and interrogates how these things can manifest in some physical state, bound and unbound by the laws of nature.
Exhibition: Me they shall feel while I am able to stand
Artist: Daisy Watkins-Harvey
Venue: Bus Projects
Dates: until 23rd September
Daisy Watkins-Harvey’s Me they shall feel while I am able to stand consists of two new gestural paintings and a sculptural piece made from steel and marble. The exhibition is a meditation on fear, violence and uncertainty. Intuitive and gestural in approach, the works are studies by the artist on the expression of human emotional stages, and the indeterminate space between imagination and memory. The exhibition is presented in the smallest gallery space at Bus Projects, a non-profit organization in Collingwood that presents a tightly curated program throughout its five conjoined galleries each month. Being able to present multiple exhibitions in one month under the one roof enables introduction between artist and audience.