We come to know movement by examining relationships between things. In these zones, there is time to consider, to contemplate and to feel into space. This issue of Runway, #28 MOVEMENT, has approached the perfomative, examining both the prevailing quality of contemporary practice to ‘move’, and the motivations and fascinations by which it is itself moved. As in Angela Garrick’s article, ‘Lee Lozano and the Unknown Line’, movement is perceived as the process of ‘knowing the unknowing’.
Tim Woodward’s contribution, ‘Stuffed Artist’, plays with this concept. A series of gifs in comic-strip style depict a louche Pink Panther puppet, dressed in a beret and artist’s smock, manipulated by a puppeteer. Readjusting his limbs, she explains her method, ‘… [an] interesting triangle where I have to understand what he’s trying to communicate in order for me to make him alive appropriately’. Pip Wallis’ reflection on a workshop with Simone Forti also compels the reader to consider the unknown motivations behind non-human movement.
The body is a powerful tool to maneuver and explore these territories, to test and accentuate the unknown’s extreme qualities. Political and social turmoils activate a number of these works, resulting in some surprising reversals: Elena Knox’s inventive animation ‘Reinventing the Wheel’ sees a Barbie doll enacting a feminist awakening on the set of a game show; while Laura Couttie’s ‘Manifesto of Decelerationism’ is an inversion of the fascist underpinnings of Marinetti’s famous manifesto. Henry Andersen’s research into the glitches that emerge from manual repetition demonstrates their ability to unsettle and disrupt both political and artistic process.
Friends With Deficits’ poetic contribution weaves together found text from letters by asylum seekers, illuminating the harrowing plight of refugees detained in their flight from tumultuous circumstance. Ann Finegan’s essay on Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski’s collaboration with Alison Plevey, Dancing with Drones, interrogates the menacing potential of movement delegated to machines and contrasts this with the movement driven through the sensing body. What results is a dance between the human and non-human. Unlike the machine, the dancer is compelled to move out of instinct to survive.
Chloe Watson and Victoria Maxwell’s diagnosis of art-induced vertigo will inspire new strains of hypochondria, while Melissa Ryke’s ‘Roll’ elevates the experience of watching to a corporeal thrill that captures the movement of the artist. Stella Rosa McDonald’s essay on artists’ journeys brings together artists as disparate as Ian Fairweather, Constantin Brancusi and Jas Ban Ader.
Far from the grand and profound gesture of Jas Ban Ader’s final performance, some of the movement you will see in this issue is small, almost imperceptible. Brendan McCleary’s insight into his role as a performer in Jessie Bullivant’s work for NEW15 is a meditation on the ambivalence of the shrug, while Angela Garrick’s essay on American conceptual artist Lee Lozano considers the radical possibilities of disappearing altogether. Kuba Dorabialski’s work ‘I Have Some Regrets/I Have No Doubts’ returns us to the image of the wheel, with the action of the film in continual movement even as the voiceover meanders, contradicts itself and backtracks, refusing a straightforward narrative. Perth collective Snapcat (Renae Coles and Anna Dunnill) undermine the bold and unequivocal statement of public parades by drawing attention in their ‘Tiny Parades’ series to overlooked joys and sorrows: earthworms, rain, friends who leave Perth.
This issue presents a series of newly commissioned works that extend Runway’s mission to support experimental Australian practice. We’re also excited to present works that experiment with new forms of art writing: in this issue you’ll find art criticism in the form of manifesto, poetry, memoir and public service announcement. The writers and artists in this issue offer an alternative perspective to the present: one based on the way we move rather than the direction or conclusion we move towards.
Thank you to all the artists and writers who contributed to this issue, and to our editorial team for their skill and professionalism. Thanks must also go to Screen Space for hosting the launch of this issue, and for the team at Underbelly Arts for giving our Runway Circle supporters a sneak peek at some of the works in this issue. Runway Australian Experimental Art is grateful for the support of Arts NSW.
Eleanor Zeichner is a writer interested in the intersections of performance, fiction and visual arts practice. She is currently Assistant Curator of UTS Gallery. From 2013-14...
Julia is an artist based in Sydney, Australia. She joined the Runway board in 2013 and has since been involved with launching Runway Australian Experimental...