Friday, October 04, 2013

In the last month or so, we have seen leaders change, policies align and disgusting decisions imposed on the most vulnerable. Decline seems to be our modus operandi. If an empire is failing, how does it fall with the least possible pain?Harriet Morgan’s exhibition with the same name, Decline at Top Shelf above Deans Art in La Trobe Street might have been asking the same thing—an omnipresent apocalypse with a glass of champagne. Nick Austin’s paintings of flying envelopes and Kate Smith’s three-part painting Art school point to a past, a kind of neo-nostalgia: one more melancholy than the other—a nuanced picture and unrecognisable painted forms in spaceless-languid-yellow. Alex Vivian’s Dirt swatch is a sliced soccer shirt flicked with filth and fixed with hairspray skinned over a neo-faux-doric-columned-new-bone-china-serving-dish registers painting in its past-particle-present—the ambiguity of polity evident in an array of decadence.

New improved qualities …

… reads the text on Janet Burchill and Jenifer McCamley’s painting accompanied by a chair.

Helen Johnson’s video as long as a pop song has a group of nameless voices discussing Badiou and Brecht in a context that’s not ours to be privy to. We see, not hear, violins played and a cat looks back at me spliced after footage of Karl Marx’s grave. I look down to my phone, a ‘fact’ reads: other than humans, cats are the only other species which likes getting things for free. While wondering what this might mean, the analytical screen and self-conscious spoken words remain synced, ‘I keep making the same point, fine, but … I don’t understand what an individual is. I don’t know what it is … ‘ But it is in the opening lines, ‘But aren’t the militants here precisely trying to prevent the young militant from taking this path’, that we find the dissension and the doubling in Decline.

To depose is to get rid of, dismiss or displace. De-pose on the other hand, might infer a colloquial reference to the stance of someone captured on The Satorialist blog. In either form, power is undermined—that of the leader by an action or that of the image (and beauty itself) by language.

Excerpt from article Der For by Lisa Radford

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