7th July – 19th August 2017
Anna Schwartz Gallery
Calling on the tenets of Suprematism and continuing the premise of Painting-out Performance, 2015, in which several large prints were painted red, Mike Parr performed LEFT FIELD [for Robert Hunter] at Anna Schwartz Gallery on the 6th of July 2017.
The title of the performance invokes variously; a position of obscurity, an ideological leaning, a location on a baseball pitch, or even an abandoned site – a field left behind. Such an empty field could be imagined as boundless, one entire entity without edge or seam. Embracing the statement of Kazimir Malevich that “Art… wants to have nothing further to do with the object”, Parr’s minimalistic performance has rendered the gallery void, leaving behind only a trace in the form of video documentation. On display for the period of the exhibition, this ephemeral echo reverberates against the walls, ceiling and floor, intensifying its barely perceptible sight and sound. On view in the upstairs gallery is a new work by Mike Parr, COATED TONGUES [for Shaun Gladwell], in which he continues his tribute to seminal Australian artists.
Mike Parr (born 1945) lives and works in Sydney. Over the course of his career, Parr has engaged with ideas of endurance and duration, formalism and the mechanics of de-representation. His work is imbued with a strongly cathartic presence that can be read as a forcing of language onto the material body. Interrogating formal and cultural orthodoxies, Mike Parr conflates drawing, print, sculpture and performance in his deeply political works. Testing the limits of his physical and mental endurance, Parr has cut, branded, stitched, burnt and nailed his body in a decades long examination of identity and contemporary political conventions.
Parr represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1980 and presented the major installation The Ghost who Talks at the Palazzo Mora in 2015 Venice Biennale. In 2016, the National Gallery of Australia mounted the museum’s largest survey of a contemporary Australian artist, ‘Mike Parr: Foreign Looking’. He has also participated in Biennales around the world with performance, installation and drawing works. These include: Havana, Liverpool, Fukui, Venice and Sydney. His work is included in all major Australian public collections and features prominently in international and Australian private and corporate collections.