"Pictures & Words"
Viktorija Rybakova, Nicholas Mangan, Andrew Read
Curated by: Paulius Andriuškevičius, Nicholas Kleindienst
Opening: Wednesday 10 April 6 - 8 pm
Dates: 10 April – 4 May 2019
In this exhibition, pictures and words are laid bare through their identification as uncertain carriers of meaning, as conjectural supports for anecdotal histories told through common tropes. Through systems of association, appropriation, and re-mediation, the syntax of the artist’s individual languages invites the viewer into a dialogue with the works, where memories of real and dreamt events, sensual experiences, or fleeting ideas, can be translated into the context of the one’s own reality. In this way, the project looks at individual methods of addressing shared concerns within the political and cultural projects of each artist’s work, where overlaps in experience are arranged in support of distinct practices. Locating approaches where the given can be taken to form the individual, the exhibition traces meaning amongst things and beings, through a reliance on common visual, oral, and written references. Arranged as a collage of personal views the first chapter of 'Pictures & Words' presents unique contemporary art practices and aims to capture them in a dissolving snapshot.
About the project:
'Pictures & Words' is a year-long project spanning multiple locations in Australia and Lithuania taking place in 2019. The project is a collaboration between emerging curators Paulius Andriuškevičius and Nicholas Kleindienst. Commissioned by Rupert centre for art and education, Vilnius and Bus Projects, Melbourne. The two curators are inviting unique sets of understanding and experience from different ends of the world into a literary and visual dialogue. 'Pictures & Words' is a time- and site-specific conversation that focuses on the syntax of contemporary expression across and between geopolitical spheres.
Curious Skin/Deep Embrace
70 x 50 cm
Sexuality is a call for a complex inner life, a need for connection beyond one’s own body. Once the heart starts beating around the 22nd day of its cellular existence, it gives the first visible sign of life and therefore a deep inner complexity that is hard to define with words.
Like skin pores open up to the oxygen stored under the cupola of the Earth, bodies reach for a sense of closeness with other souled selves, they look for a sense of tangible evidence of security.
In a second, when the eyes meet, gazing forth into lucid and distinct awareness, recognition of the inner selfhood comes from within, as a reminder to wake up. Eyes express the inner life of a spirit; when our eyes meet, we recognise life in the other’s body.
Skin is the biggest sensing organ given to all living beings. It is diverse in colour, texture and the neural endings it hides. The skin on the fingertips is the most sensitive and is a powerful erogenous station. When our fingers land on the warm and silky skin of a person with whom we share mutual attraction, the entire body is aroused. During coitus breathing deepens and this in turn changes the fluid balance, resulting in an increased nerve excitability and tingling of the skin on the fingertips.
Viktorija Rybakova (b. 1989) is an artist and architect. Her artistic practice began as a choreographed paper architecture that opened up the world of senses and sciences. She is working on a research project called Geography of Senses, and observes emotional and sensual complexity of living bodies. In parallel to running studio Laumes, a design & research atelier, with Goda Budvytytė, she writes, makes sculptures and furniture. Her works were exhibited in Tallinna Kunstihoone, 19th and 20th Videobrasil, CAC Vilnius, Kunstverein Munich, Jan Van Eyck Academie, Fundação Iberê Camargo, Witte de With, The Baltic Pavilion at the 15th Architecture Biennial in Venice, 12th Baltic Triennial, KW Institute for Contemporary Art.
Limits to Growth (Part 3),
reconstituted aluminium and reduced ethernet cables, power cords and internal wiring from Bitcoin miner machines, dimensions variable.
Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
'Limits to Growth' began in 2016 by staging a comparison of two virtual monetary currencies: the contemporary cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and the more ancient Yapese currency, Rai. While bitcoins are virtual, and in a sense immaterial, Rai are made of stone and are often very large, weighing several tonnes. Bitcoins are minted by computers solving complex algorithms, often collectively – working in a ‘blockchain.’ In order to ‘mint’ Bitcoins, however, vast quantities of energy are consumed by the computers processing the algorithms as they labour to verify and record transactions. Processor farms must labour day in, day out to keep the network alive. So although Bitcoin’s medium of exchange is virtual, it remains – like Rai – bound to the physical world.
To make the first iteration of the project, a bitcoin mining rig was installed in the basement of Monash University Museum of Art. Money mined by the rig had been used to pay for the production of the large-format photographs of Rai stone coins included in the exhibition at MUMA. This series of photographs had an indexical relationship to the value created and energy consumed by the Bitcoin mining taking place below. The photographs continued to accumulate over the exhibition’s duration as the rig mined for Bitcoin.
The work exhibited at Bus Projects is Part 3 of 'Limits to Growth'. With development of new sculptural forms, Nicholas Mangan continues to explore the themes of circular economies. By manually breaking down the components of the now obsolete Bitcoin mining machines used in the first two stages of the project the artist created aluminium bullions of recycled "e waste” which act as a new hard currency. In addition, the cut wires from the mining rigs can be read as transmitters of energy and currency flows, a residual material connecting the three parts of the project.
Nicholas Mangan (b. 1979) is an artist living and working in Melbourne. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Termite Economies’ at Sutton gallery, Melbourne, Australia 2018; ‘Limits to Growth’ at Kunst Werke, Berlin, Germany 2017, IMA Brisbane and MUMA Melbourne 2016, ‘Other Currents’ at Artspace, Sydney 2015. ‘Ancient Lights’ at Chisenhale Gallery, London 2015. Recent Group exhibitions include, ‘Post-Nature—A Museum as an Ecosystem’ at Taipei Biennial, Taiwain 2018; ‘74 million million million tons’ at Sculpture Centre, Long Island City, New York, USA 2018; ‘Manipulate the World’ at Mordern Museet Stockholm, Sweden 2017; ‘4.543 billion The Matter of Matter’ at CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France. 11th Gwangju Biennale The Eighth Climate - SeMA Mediacity Biennale, Neriri Kiruru Harara, Seoul 2016; Let's Talk About the Weather: Art and Ecology in a Time of Crisis’ at Sursock, Beirut 2016.
acrylic on canvas
53 x 60 cm (each)
The images in these paintings are derived from a balustrade and fencing catalogue. With such arbitrary names and designs, the whole thing feels like a kind of semiological test. The fact that the “Manhatten” design has been misspelt is the first clue.
Andrew Read (b. 1986) is a Melbourne-based artist and curator that graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) in 2015. Encompassing a wide range of material outcomes, including painting, sculpture, video, photography, and installation, Read uses his practice to ask questions about the nature of images, their power, and the economies within which they function. Selected exhibitions include, ‘I like Anything’ at Tans Martial Arts, Melbourne 2018; ‘A Hush Fell’, Vacant TV Studio, Melbourne 2018; ‘A Billion Bucks’ at The Honeymoon Suite, Melbourne 2016; ‘Material Image Solutions’ at Fort Delta, Melbourne 2015; ‘Habitat’ at CalArts Student Gallery, Los Angeles 2015 and ‘Reciprocal Failure’ at Goodtime Studios, Melbourne 2014. In 2015 Read was shortlisted for the Majlis Travelling Scholarship. Read is also the co-director of the artist run space, DAVID, in Melbourne.