26th March – 18th April 2015
Anna Schwartz Gallery
In Time is a 24 hour video in which the artist rests, hangs and clings onto the minute hand of a large clock, 4 x 4 metres in diameter, arduously counting out a full 24-hour cycle so that the video becomes a functional time-keeping device. In standing in for and becoming time, Mitchell ultimately examines its essence as it passes before her. Dressed in blue work overalls, Mitchell appears like a maintenance or quality control worker, making sure every moment is up to muster. The paradox: even if it is deemed to not be up to scratch, a re-wind to re-live is impossible, the moment has already passed. Time continues, regardless of whether it is approved of or not. Through Mitchell’s absurd examination of time, we are reminded to be attentive to its ever constant passing; how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
In Bad Luck Rearranged I and II, the shards of an accidentally broken mirror have been collected, painted and reconfigured in an attempt to reverse bad luck through an aesthetic gesture. The photos serve as a reminder that we have the ability and agency to harness our own power to turn bad luck around.
In the Security Blanket suite, five hand made blankets: Funeral Plan, Health Insurance, Income Protection, 24 Hour Hotline, Superannuation, speak to the desire for security and the inability to have/hold onto it. These ‘adult’ blankets align themselves with various forms of insurance and protection, which aim to provide similar solace in a world of change and uncertainty.
In How to Be A Genuine Fake, Mitchell appears, brow furrowed, absorbed in reading a book titled How to be a Real Human. A riff on the self-help genre: the harder we work for an authentic state of being, the further away we find ourselves.
Two neon squiggles depict the artist’s brainwaves caught in two different states of mind: What Thinking About Art Looks Like and What The Realisation That This Thought Is An Artwork Looks Like. The currents of the brain are enlarged in an attempt to locate their point of origin and dissect their meaning.
How This Work Was Made combines the action of art-making with the resulting artwork, transferring the focus from one to the other. It stands as a form of self inverted analysis, a catalogue of its own process of being. It reveals the commitment and risk that the artist embraces for the work.
Collectively this body of work addresses everyday worries; time, money, work and the future. The pieces in the exhibition stand together like markers of the pure effort of time itself, revealing that the greatest effort of all is to actually be at peace with time.