Mike Parr
The Eter­nal Opening

25th October – 8th December 2019
Carriageworks

Aus­tralian artist Mike Parr presents The Eter­nal Open­ing at Car­riage­works. This mul­ti­lay­ered sea­son of per­for­mance and instal­la­tion includes The Eter­nal Open­ing, LEFT FIELD [for Robert Hunter], Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square, Jeri­cho and BDH [Burn­ing Down the House].

For almost five decades Aus­tralian artist Mike Parr (b. 1945) has made art that encom­pass­es per­for­mance, print­mak­ing, sculp­ture, instal­la­tion and text. Rig­or­ous and uncom­pro­mis­ing, Parr’s prac­tice probes the poten­tial and crit­i­cal posi­tion of art through social and geopo­lit­i­cal issues in Aus­tralia and abroad. He fre­quent­ly uses his own body as the medi­um to con­nect chan­nels of inter­ro­ga­tion, endur­ing extreme phys­i­cal and men­tal states in the process of mak­ing his work.

At the cen­tre of The Eter­nal Open­ing is an instal­la­tion of an art gallery, built as an art object. This struc­ture con­tains doc­u­men­ta­tion of Parr’s min­i­mal­ist per­for­mance, LEFT FIELD [for Robert Hunter], which took place at the Anna Schwartz Gallery, Mel­bourne in 2017. For LEFT FIELD, Parr paint­ed-out the exist­ing white walls white, fer­vent­ly scal­ing a lad­der while an audi­ence con­vivial­ly observed. Robert Hunter (19472014) was an Aus­tralian artist whose obses­sive pur­suit of min­i­mal-abstrac­tion is demon­strat­ed in his white-on-white geo­met­ric com­po­si­tions and white wall paint­ings. At Car­riage­works, the repli­ca gallery and pre­sen­ta­tion of the doc­u­men­ta­tion has been pre­sent­ed in mir­ror image, a ref­er­ence to Parr’s long term Self Por­trait Project’ as well as the cre­ation of the orig­i­nal event’s eter­nal return.

In Parr’s oeu­vre the motif of the black square has endured as a for­mal dec­la­ra­tion of anni­hi­la­tion and resur­gence. The ori­gins of this image are in Russ­ian artist Kaz­imir Malevich’s (18791935) art move­ment Supre­ma­tism which sought to free art from the dead weight of the real world’ by the means of a new lan­guage of pure abstrac­tion. Malevich’s icon­ic 1913 paint­ing Black Square became the ground-zero for non-objec­tive art – it could be under­stood as an end-in-itself, or a win­dow to a new beginning.

On the open­ing night of The Eter­nal Open­ing at Car­riage­works, Parr will per­form Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square. Draw­ing on Parr’s out­rage at the cur­rent wild­fires in the Ama­zon rain­for­est, the work is an urgent response to an ongo­ing envi­ron­men­tal cat­a­stro­phe. Doc­u­men­ta­tion of Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square will been ren­dered in mir­ror image and pre­sent­ed on screens with­in the space. The sound from this event will play simul­ta­ne­ous­ly over that of LEFT FIELD.


Beat­rice Gral­ton, Head Cura­tor, Visu­al Art

Images

Mike Parr

The Eter­nal Opening, 2019
instal­la­tion view, Car­riage­works, Sydney

Mike Parr

LEFT FIELD [for Robert Hunter], 2017
Per­for­mance at Anna Schwartz Gallery, 6 July 2017
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley

Mike Parr

Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square, 2019
performance
25 Octo­ber 2019, Car­riage­works, Sydney
Cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er: Gotaro Uematsu
Assis­tant: Glenn Thompson
Pho­to: Mark Porkorny
SCHWARTZ CARRIAGEWORKS

Mike Parr

Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square, 2019
performance
25 Octo­ber 2019, Car­riage­works, Sydney
Cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er: Gotaro Uematsu
Assis­tant: Glenn Thompson
Pho­to: Mark Porkorny
SCHWARTZ CARRIAGEWORKS

Mike Parr

Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square, 2019
performance
25 Octo­ber 2019, Car­riage­works, Sydney
Cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er: Gotaro Uematsu
Assis­tant: Glenn Thompson
Pho­to: Mark Porkorny
SCHWARTZ CARRIAGEWORKS

Mike Parr

Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square, 2019
performance
25 Octo­ber 2019, Car­riage­works, Sydney
Cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er: Gotaro Uematsu
Assis­tant: Glenn Thompson
Pho­to: Mark Porkorny
SCHWARTZ CARRIAGEWORKS

Mike Parr

Towards an Ama­zon­ian Black Square, 2019
performance
25 Octo­ber 2019, Car­riage­works, Sydney
Cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er: Gotaro Uematsu
Assis­tant: Glenn Thompson
Pho­to: Mark Porkorny
SCHWARTZ CARRIAGEWORKS

Mike Parr

Jeri­cho, 2019
Per­for­mance Ses­sion: 16 Novem­ber, 2019, 1am, Carriageworks
Per­for­mance 1: Un-face
Per­for­mance 2: Red Square
Per­for­mance 3: fill a tin can with about a pint of heavy indus­tri­al grease. Push sev­er­al cubes of ice into the grease. Allow the grease to close around your fin­gers. Wipe your fin­gers clean on a damp rag. cii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 4: press some glass into bread. xli from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 5: crush an orange against a wall. xvii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley
SCHWARTZ CAR­RIAGE­WORKS project

Mike Parr

Jeri­cho, 2019
Per­for­mance Ses­sion: 16 Novem­ber, 2019, 1am, Carriageworks
Per­for­mance 1: Un-face
Per­for­mance 2: Red Square
Per­for­mance 3: fill a tin can with about a pint of heavy indus­tri­al grease. Push sev­er­al cubes of ice into the grease. Allow the grease to close around your fin­gers. Wipe your fin­gers clean on a damp rag. cii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 4: press some glass into bread. xli from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 5: crush an orange against a wall. xvii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley
SCHWARTZ CAR­RIAGE­WORKS project

Mike Parr

Jeri­cho, 2019
Per­for­mance Ses­sion: 16 Novem­ber, 2019, 1am, Carriageworks
Per­for­mance 1: Un-face
Per­for­mance 2: Red Square
Per­for­mance 3: fill a tin can with about a pint of heavy indus­tri­al grease. Push sev­er­al cubes of ice into the grease. Allow the grease to close around your fin­gers. Wipe your fin­gers clean on a damp rag. cii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 4: press some glass into bread. xli from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 5: crush an orange against a wall. xvii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley
SCHWARTZ CAR­RIAGE­WORKS project

Mike Parr

Jeri­cho, 2019
Per­for­mance Ses­sion: 16 Novem­ber, 2019, 1am, Carriageworks
Per­for­mance 1: Un-face
Per­for­mance 2: Red Square
Per­for­mance 3: fill a tin can with about a pint of heavy indus­tri­al grease. Push sev­er­al cubes of ice into the grease. Allow the grease to close around your fin­gers. Wipe your fin­gers clean on a damp rag. cii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 4: press some glass into bread. xli from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Per­for­mance 5: crush an orange against a wall. xvii from 150 Pro­grammes & Inves­ti­ga­tions, 1971 – 72
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley
SCHWARTZ CAR­RIAGE­WORKS project

Mike Parr

BDH, 2016
Per­for­mance at the launch of the Embassy of Dis­ap­pear­ance, Car­riage­works, Sydney
Bien­nale of Syd­ney 2016