MIKE PARR | SUN­SET CLAWS | PART 1

An exhi­bi­tion in 3 parts
Part 1: Dirty Blan­ket

28 Sep­tem­ber – 8 Novem­ber 2023
Anna Schwartz Gallery 

Mike Parr, email, 28 July 2023

″…I com­plet­ed Dirty Blan­ket a week or so before we flew out to Van­cou­ver. I’m glad I did. No way I’d be able to return to it now. It feels com­plete, detached in my mind now. I no longer have the urge to paint over it so not doing that real­ly sim­pli­fies Stage 1 of the show. I am though, includ­ing anoth­er work to be installed on the long wall oppo­site. It’s a framed invert­ed pho­to­graph of Tim & me. The same bad­ly worn pho­to­graph that appears in the box with all the draw­ing boards, which I used repeat­ed­ly as the basis for near­ly every draw­ing. IAS are about to get back to me with a deliv­ery date for the framed pho­to­graph which will arrive at the gallery before we leave.

The 3 chan­nel Toss a Cam­era to a Cura­tor com­pletes Stage 1 upstairs. I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to see­ing that, but since we don’t get back from Europe until 16 Octo­ber Rob & Renar­to will have to install Stage 1 in my absence. Tess & I plan to dri­ve to Mel­bourne to arrive Thurs­day 9 Novem­ber. We’ll stay on at our favourite spot in Brighton until Tues­day 14 Novem­ber. This will give both of us the chance to see Stage 1 before it comes down and to see Stage 2 as it goes up, not to men­tion the chance to have a sort of belat­ed open­ing din­ner with you & Mor­ry.

On Sat­ur­day 11 Novem­ber Gotaro & I per­form and video Falling Self Por­trait. [Covid meant that we missed the chance to do that piece in 2021].

The next vis­it in rela­tion to this exhi­bi­tion doesn’t need to occur until the end of Novem­ber. Tess & I will dri­ve down then to arrive in Mel­bourne Thurs­day 30thleav­ing again Wednes­day 6 Decem­ber. This will give us a chance to dri­ve out to see John’s print show.

On Sat­ur­day 2nd Decem­ber Gotaro & I will per­form & video Going Home [Invert­ed Moun­tain]. I’ll bring all the paint with me and hope that Rob & Renar­to will be free to work with Gotaro & me to do the piece. This work seems to me to be the chance to take blind paint­ing to anoth­er stage. A per­for­mance, but this time out of per­for­mance a paint­ing; a paint­ing more deeply imag­ined in colour than any of the pre­vi­ous works includ­ing Paint­ing the Aus­tralian Flag blind which only deployed col­or instrumentally.


Each of the stages of this exhi­bi­tion have addi­tion­al works to accom­pa­ny and extend the metaphor­i­cal heft of the works down­stairs, so the upstairs very impor­tant. I think won­der­ful to include as part of Stage 3 The Mon­tage in Space & Time 1971 – 2023 as 4 win­dows open­ing on one large screen. I’m also going to pro­duce a new silkscreen print to be framed and installed on the end wall down­stairs, to com­plete some­thing that I feel will emerge through the huge blind paint­ing.

I’m very enthu­si­as­tic about this end of year show. I think all the trav­el­ling & look­ing at art has made me very sure about what we are doing.

What do you think of the over­all title? Sun­set Claws. It’s kind of annoy­ing­ly cyn­i­cal, but it’s got the right lev­el of iron­i­cal detach­ment. It con­tin­ues to irri­tate me, but I keep com­ing back to it…”

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