1st February – 1st March 2003
Anna Schwartz Gallery
Excerpts from a letter by Mike Parr
“ÆTHER / AWE brings together three major transitions in my work of the last thirty years.
The overprinted text has been extracted from the Wall Definition of 1971. This 254 page piece begins with a definition of the word “wall” continuing with definitions of all the words in the first definition, to make a “wall of words.”
In crucial respects this 1971 conceptual work anticipates the Self Portrait Project, which also parodies the notion of identity via an endless process of re-representation.
The second pivotal component of ÆTHER / AWE dates from 1981. The second year of the 1980’s marks the beginning of my attempt at self portraiture.
These drawings are all strangely analytical and incompetent at the same time and their “expressionism”, which is inadvertent, is made more so by being seen through my “mother’s glassware”.
The remaining images of ÆTHER / AWE roughly date to 2001. I think of them as remnants of the Self Portrait Project. Wisps of mirror images, touches of water colour, bits of writing and a pervasive feeling of emptiness. A tremendous amount of work went into these images. Many screens were used and very often the pigment was diluted to near invisibility.”