200 Gertrude Street
13th June – 12th July 2014
For the site-specific installation, 200 Gertrude Street, at Gertrude Contemporary, Stephen Bram inserted six wall planes into the gallery that enfolded the space in an all-encompassing concertina. Three deep ‘valleys’ carved the rooms, repeating from floor to ceiling. Walking through these angular passages the viewer was variously enveloped in light and dark; we experience an internal space that refers constantly to the outside world.
This work drew on Bram’s ongoing project that uses two or three vanishing points in space to create a structural form. These points are outside the boundaries of the work and so the installation constantly reaffirms its relationship with the external world despite its formal appearance.
Our physical, spatial experience of the installation foregrounded a philosophical enquiry; how is meaning attributed through the relationship of objects and people Bram’s project explores this question by refusing to attribute significance to the vanishing points he nominates.
Abstract artwork is sometimes considered either work about nothing or work about itself. In 200 Gertrude Street it was instead abstraction that encompassed the arbitrariness of meaning making. Bram made visible the structural supports of the forms; the timber struts of each wall reveal themselves to the viewer and the parallax view of the work shifts constantly in accordance with our movement.
200 Gertrude Street was the first in series of exhibitions by Gertrude Contemporary alumni in celebration of the community of artists who have shaped a Melbourne institution over three decades.