16th November – 21st December 2013
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks
‘Easter Island’, Mike Parr’s latest installation at Anna Schwartz Gallery Sydney comprises 99 large photographs. The four huge walls of the gallery are papered from the top edge down to eye level so that the exhibition effectively occurs overhead. These photographs of drawings are not “self-portraits” in any conventional sense as they are filled with a tremendous array of contradictory graphic responses that interrupt and “over-write” legibility.
Parr made these photographs in a kind of performance session and the installation extends this idea. Because of the scope of the work and its relationship with the architecture of the gallery, the audience has to navigate the space to take it in. The title invokes the stone megaliths on ‘Easter Island’ and Jared Diamond’s account of the end of this civilization.
Parr says… A note from my diary:- “Easter Island is the graveyard of the image. The drawing boards are both a sketchbook and a notebook that has come to the surface and this coming to the surface super-saturates the space. All look and no seeing…the stranded effect of presence… its over-exposed reciprocities [thinking photography]. Those megaliths on E.I. look like the end of the egocentric…a cemetery of falling mentalities and the end of history. Profound isolation of these stage objects. As Slavoj Zizek might have said, ‘Easter Island’ is populated by the frozen form of the “indivisible remainder”…something that looks back while trying to carry the gaze forward. Monumentality & profound emptiness + the disconnectedness of repetition…
The work of Mike Parr will be the subject of concurrent exhibitions in 2015 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace and Campbelltown Arts Centre.