29th July – 28th August 2010
Anna Schwartz Gallery
For his first solo exhibition in Melbourne, and his first exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Ian Burns presents a number of sculptures that continue to explore the manufactured screen image. Referring in title to the simplistic and little-nuanced plots of pulp fiction, AND THEN… provides a space in which we might become more conscious of the images we consume on a daily basis.
Incorporating and sometimes generating sound and image, burns’ ‘meta-cinematic’ monuments invoke popular moving imagery and by extension the culture which produces them. Burns builds these audio- visual-sculptural forms in order to reveal the clichés of contemporary screen culture. Without ignoring the context of his own production, Burns’ critique of mindless images also extends to those contemporary art practices that similarly play upon the objects familiar to daily life. Comprised of found objects, each sculpture contains within it a unique narrative. For example, the coincidence of discovering a clam-shaped, children’s swimming pool, along with some discarded mannequins, led the artist to Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’. What ensues is a unique extension of the metaphor, as Venus – through Burns – gives birth to video. This brings us to the underlying essence of Burns’ work: while critically bringing to light complex theories about popular culture and the entertainment industry, these works contain a necessary dose of humour – making them utterly compelling.