Exhibition – 27 August – 10 September 2003 groundfloorgallery 39 Cameron Street, Balmain, NSW, Australia
Beyond the end, beyond all finality, we enter a paradoxical state – the state of too much reality, too much positivity, too much information. In this state of paradox, faced with extreme phenomena, we do not know exactly what is taking place.
Honourable Fears is a photographic installation which explores the absences and spaces that are occupied by the forbidden, the unspeakable, and the Other. The installation is a bold attempt at deciphering the social psyche and an invitation to question notions of self-protection as they manifest themselves through the continuum of history.
Appearing in fragments, sublime armories travel and arrive into our time charged with nobility and futility. The subsequent yearning and nostalgic references are then symbolised through the flight of objects submerged in an intense black void. The fossilising of disposable medical devices through photography is a euphoric attempt to return to the world the absent memory of the ephemeral while disembodiment and historical signifiers, such as swords and protective clothing engage in an amorphous aesthetic and philosophical play.
Through this body of work, a question is also asked about the absolute and the eternal. The notions of consumption and the hyper-real are examined in a bid to understand how these phenomena may have transformed death into an image-based commodity. Death seeps into our lives on a daily basis through media packages and sanitised distances. And so, through the still presence of a photograph, the ancient and the archaic are encapsulated so as to provide grief with a space to breathe. The enigmatic return of the Other through an Arab death is both sorrowful and abject, and so the image creates a sense of enquiry into the self and into long held views… or, perhaps, just a pause.
The viewer is also invited to extricate the power of language and to signify consumerist tools through disposable art items such as giveaway cards. These contain images from the installation and text from the public relations unit of the“US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command” and, like morsels of a wedding cake, they intend to offer a taste of an optimistic and serene future….