For that which is between the earth is an ongoing exhibition that will develop at Gaffa in three different stages over the course of the next two months.
Instalment I: May 28th – June 8th
Instalment II: June 11th – July 6th
Instalment III: July 9th – July 20th
81 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, (+61) 02 9283 4273
Mon-Fri: 10-6pm, Sat: 11-5pm, Sun+Holidays: Closed
I have had in mind an exhibition about Sydney since I moved here one year ago.
This far-reaching, chimerical endeavour, far from aspiring to become a comprehensive and exhaustive portrait of the city, originated from an urge to become familiar with its history, its surroundings and its distinctive traits, and the intention to adopt art and exhibition-making as instruments of my exploration.
Along my wanderings through the streets of Sydney and my research through its archives and landmarks, For that which is between the earth came into play as an additional tool of research, and as it turned out, a very constructive one.
Rather than intervening physically in a specific locale, For that which is between the earth set out to investigate its metaphysical existence, that is a portrait of Sydney as we know it, or I should better say, imagine it, through an accumulation of different sources and narratives, the historical, as well as the fictional ones.
Because of its active intervention in a particular environment and its response to it, albeit metaphysical (the study and observations are based on secondary sources), the project thus became a site-specific one, inasmuch as it turned into a cognitive tool functional to an exploration of the city, no less than a historical treatise, a topographical record or even, on a different scale, a photograph or a novel.
In doing so, it also concurrently exposed the research to its own limits, that is the limits of knowledge itself, and with them, the fallacies of our interpretative and communicative systems, from language to art, history and cartography.
Within this interpretative frame, words, as well as images or maps, fail us, since not only any metaphysical quest, but even a perfect dovetailing of signified with signifiers, or objects with words, is doomed to remain unfulfilled, while we keep trying and construct refined realities through an accumulation of traces, images and fictions, disseminated by ourselves and by others through time and space.
In line with this conceptual interpretation, the myth of Borges’ travel to Australia, as well as the invention of his response to that travel, recollections of a place of Proustian taste, literary forgeries or narrated memories, are all phagocytized in an exhibition that is first and foremost about Sydney and the exploration of unfamiliar places.
In a world and a time of media bombardment and bulimia of information, Marius feeds on memories and impressions of a place, and makes them his own, manipulating them and telling us of a world he has only ever visited through someone else’s eyes.
For that which is between the earth is to be considered a choral vision of a place, an imagined city, constructed by a collective vision and through an accumulation of multiple traces.
Such a vision is inherently an approximation of Sydney, a distorted mirror acknowledging the inevitability of imprecision and accepting such distortion as an essential fallacy of human knowledge.
It is also an attempt to explore the artistic tool in a broader way, trying to disengage it from the wall, so to speak, and making it functional to an exploration of a place, and with it, of a history.
Beyond being an exhibition, For that which is between the earth aims at becoming a methodological example, most likely an imperfect one, to go beyond art as mere representation and display, and to use it instead as a way of progressing somewhat forward.