An Imprecise Science

Art Life , Exhibitions Apr 06, 2015 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

One of many curiosities of the exhibition An Imprecise Science is its title. The art world has a barley hidden penchant for imagining that its creative processes and outputs are somehow akin to the methodologies of science, but nothing could be further from the truth. One might imagine that the shared historical connections of art and science lays a foundation for an equal creative imagination, and that might well be the case, but in practice the poetic transformations of art are the scientific equivalent of Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty: the longer you look at art
the less certain it appears to be.


As an exhibition, An Imprecise Science embraces that uncertainty as its core and Artspace director Alexie Glass-Kantor – working with Talia Linz – has curated a show that “…explores how with idiosyncratic intent we each determine our own processes for embodying experience or tracking life lived.” The imaginative connection between the 13 artists in the show – Walead Beshty (UK/USA), Nina Canell (Sweden/Germany), Natalya Hughes (Australia), Biljana Jancic (Australia), Ragnar Kjartansson (Iceland) with The National (USA), Alicja Kwade (Poland/Germany), Bridie Lunney (Australia), Rob McLeish (Australia/USA), Kate Newby (New Zealand/USA), Isabel Nolan (Ireland), Shinro Ohtake (Japan), Daniel von Sturmer (New Zealand/Australia) and Ideas Platform | Eve Fowler (USA) – is that the outcomes of their individual and collective practices is evidence of the processes that went into making them. As a circular logic the curatorial rationale works brilliantly and magically combines minimal and maximalist works that court both contemplation and quiet humour.

Until May 24
Artspace, Woolloomooloo
Pic: Isabel Nolan, Spare Rug for Marie Lieb’s room, Heidelberg Psychiatric Hospital, 1894 (a.k.a. Circumstances shape an emptiness), 2012, mild steel, with Thoughtless, 2012, polystyrene, plaster bandage, jesmonite and paint, 60 x 60 x 60 cm, courtesy of the artist and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.

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Andrew Frost

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