Flesh and Fruity: New Artists Show 2001
Meagan Blake, Darren Glass, Jae-Hoon Lee, Brigid McLaughlan, Roger Mortimer, Stuart Shepherd, Jodi Stuart, Rohan Wealleans
10 May - 2 June 2001
Curated by Anna Miles
Named after a Victoria Street dairy, Flesh and Fruity is the 2001 edition of Artspace's annual New Artists show. Curator Anna Miles says:
It's not a theme show, but there is an air of Professor Brainstorm about it. These artists are into all kinds of quasi-scientific experimentalism. Many of them make conceptual art in a very hands-on way. Take Rohan Wealleans' collection of Maybes, Das models based on words whose meaning escapes him—klipspringers, magyars, songolos. The work has made me think a lot about the tension between making and thinking.
Darren Glass and Jae-Hoon Lee are photographers. Glass made a pinhole camera from a frisbee: each image is a flight-recording. Jae-Hoon Lee's video projection proceeds from digital scans of his skin. Lee manipulated the information on a computer, collaging textures and breeding digital sores. It's a strange offshoot of self-portraiture.
Weird paintings figure large in the show. Meagan Blake spent six weeks sharpening HB pencils, gluing down the shavings to make two 'paintings', a big fractal one, out of the petal-like wood shavings, the other small and flinty, from the leads. Brigid McLaughlan made her big white paintings out of equally odd materials. She started with a coat of nasty bitumen, only to obliterate it with purifying layers of polyfilla. Rohan Weallean's stapled-open Wound paintings could be the result of an attack by a scapel-wielding conservator anxious to lay bare the process.
Social issues are also given a new spin. Roger Mortimer extends his chronicle of bureaucratic interventions into his life. Into the waxy surface of a surfboard, he inscribes a government ruling in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry. Jodi Stuart scrambles feminist concerns with her barely interactive video-game Leisureware. Barbie trashes the room, and anything and everything that comes her way, punctuated by bum-wiggles. In his video, Stuart Shepherd torches wax replicas of kitsch figurines to create a sequence of melting moments, reducing reassuring cultural images to a gorgeous golden dribble.