My forthcoming exhibition at Magpie Springs in January 2016. It is the first step in the Fleurieuscape project and is a sampler, as there are many more images in the project. Some of the images in the exhibition can be seen on my website.
The project is premised on photographs having an almost innate seriality: their sense is more easily accessed in the company of others; not just other photographs in a show, but also by other photographs by the same photographer. In our contemporary digital world, with its networked technologies, seriality is reworked as re-blog with the image being re-configured and modified as they proliferate across the web.
The Fleurieuscapes exhibition starts to explore the regional land/urbanscape of the Fleurieu Peninsula in the contemporary world of a borderless global capitalism, with its society of the spectacle. The regional is where we live amidst the commodity structure of a capitalism that transforms things into ghostlike appearances of themselves.
The project is a representation of the sensuous particulars of the Fleurieu Peninsula as a place to be in, rather than as a tourist destination or a wilderness. It is a landscape that has been largely shaped by human beings who cleared the land for sheep and dairy farming. The aboriginal presence prior to the white settlement has been more or less obliterated. Their presence is marked by absence and memory.
The sensuousness and material particularity of art strives to assert what the rationalized concepts of instrumental reason have let slip away from the world. Thus, while the process of rationalization may well be pervasive in Western modernity, and increasingly so globally, it remains nonetheless plausible that artworks can demonstrate its limitations within a particular historical framework. Herein lies the critical force that artworks carry in the context of their historical existence. While art makes claims as a form of knowing, it presents us with insights that are not reducible to their conceptual equivalents.
What is at issue is art’s desire to serve as a form of sensuous cognition that has its own way of knowing the world and also a way of valuing it; albeit one that has in turn become constrained in its ability to ho reveal things that a concept-bound theory seems to lack. Art as an intelligent sensing of the world, offers an engagement with the world that gives evidence of the kind of knowledge that has been occluded by the dominance of “abstract concepts” in the rationalized cultures of modernity.
Photography becomes a mode of embodied meaning that returns us to those very things that have been alienated from the abstract concept: body, gesture, style, manner, tone, mood, and the like.