From Stella Rosa McDonald…
The writer will be the first to admit that the facts can get in the way of a good story. Memory, says the author Janet Malcolm, has an autistic passion for the tedious and its cries for exactitude should be subdued. Embellishment and invention however, used well, make history.For many committed storytellers the stuff that surrounds the narrative—the genre of each form—is as gripping and useful as the facts themselves. For the true raconteur the medium is the message.
Far and wide: Narrative into Idea is an intelligent curation of five Australian artists who exploit the formal properties of narrative. Forms such as the open letter, the advertisement, the diorama, the banner and the manuscript are used to explore diverse perspectives on feminism and labour, to psychology, craft and play. Based on Eleanor Coppola’s account of the making of Apocalypse Now, Barbara Campbell’s Conradiana enacts particular notions of difference through an expanded performance of scriptwriting. In the process the video and installation takes on the gendered notion of the genius and the West’s idealization of war. Michael Lindeman’s painting of the letter of certification he received when he became a dishwasher at Sizzler in the 90s is a precious self-portrait that sits between confessional and abstraction. Lindeman’s painted letter is one of many works in the show to demonstrate the notion that invention is the best defense of truth.
Until October 10
UTS Gallery, Ultimo
Pic: Michael Lindeman, Dear Michael, 2014, pencil and acrylic on canvas, 204 x 142 cm. Courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf Fine Art, Sydney.