Group Show


23 August – 15 September 2012



Cronies comes out of a situation of learning. These are artists who also happen to be Honours, Masters and PHD candidates at Sydney College of the Arts and who I work with as a so-called supervisor. Working with these artists, who are young in their practice, is a hugely enjoyable and influential part of my own practice. When Roslyn Oxley asked if I would like to curate something for the gallery I didn’t have to agonise over a selection: this ready-made group had been curating itself for a while. Curating, or ‘care of souls ’, is something the artists in CRONIES do well of their own accord. I am continually inspired by the depth of their thoughts and the beauty of their experiments. Roslyn Oxley has a history of generously opening up the gallery space for young artists to test their ideas in a long established context. Sydney College of the Arts also has a great tradition of producing some of the best artists. Fleur Wiber is an Honours student who has helped me curate the show. She is wise and funny and makes great work also. She has managed to salvage some of the crooked bits that I might have overlooked in the process of installing the exhibition.


Mikala Dwyer 2012




I work with dreams, embodied imagination and active imagination, exploring these ideas through clay. I use found pieces to add content and meaning to my works, a process that questions how certain forms best express certain ideas. Found forms relate to containment in the relationship they have to the larger work, while allowing me to suggest a collective perception or consciousness. Guardian Cat is a vision I came to while seeking symbols from alternate conscious states. Silica arose from using the process of active imagination to engage in a dialogue with the creature. Elephant Head was arrived at from a dream that was enlarged through active imagination and story making. 



Russia 1917-2012 is a live re-enactment and extension of my video performance Russia 1917-2009. In 2012, a Russian election year which saw Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin return to presidency, I invite the gallery visitors to join me in celebrating Russian political leadership by drinking a shot of vodka for each of the men who have commanded the country through its many years. “Давайте все вместе еще раз выпьем за Владимира Владимировича Путина, нашего великого вождя и учителя!”  “Let us all together again, drink for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, our great leader and teacher!”


Escape Tyoplystan and Sideways together form a visual interruption of the everyday monotone of urban Russian life and landscape. Staged in the apartment building in which I lived as a child, the two videos present an inside and outside view as I throw a chain of bed sheets from a top story window. The low-fi CRT screens emphasise the hauntological effect of the action. Moscow Metro presents a voyeuristic look at the many people who take the escalator to and from the underground metro. Often taking up to two minutes and going as deep as 80 meters underground, the escalator becomes an experience for its users, trapped for a given time in a linear voyage or conveyor belt of people.



Is it a burden to bear?

Is it longing or a life sentence?

Is it everything I hold dear?


Overgrown amniotic sac appendage.

Foreign bodies - outcast.

It’s foundation - a relationship.

A part of something that doesn't want it.

Dependency, despondent.

Tension in between.

Wanting, yearning, craving inclusion.

Suspended Horror - horror both ways.

Pre-verbal afterthought - aftershock.

Purgartory, voluntary incarceration, lacerated.

Love chore.

It’s stable unstable.

Weight, wait, weight, wait, weight, wait, scream.

Someday sever - disembark - discover another.



Through years of history, nostalgic narrative and myth, the ‘Western Landscape’ has almost become a museum of itself, a living, breathing homage to its own existence. The concept of ‘desert’, in all its vastness and horizon lines, is fetishized in Western film to the point where the presence of the landscape is so vital to the romanticism and nostalgia associated with the West that it becomes its own character. In Westering I am using this concept as a departure from the linear narrative of film or fiction, from the suspended, quixotic visions left behind by the romantics, the rugged deserts trampled upon by bloodied cowboys and the lonely highways traversed by handsome, misunderstood youth.



Using the subject of the plinth Hour Glass I – IV presents the process of its own creation. These found objects have been transformed into sculptural paintings with the repeated layering of WHITE. BLACK. WHITE. BLACK. WHITE. BLACK. Finally sanded back to reveal multiple layers of paint; in doing so the work reveals the time taken in its own making. The polished surface enables it to reflect the movement and time enacted around it. Placed in the gallery, the work becomes a reflection on the exhibition space creating a disturbance that questions its conventions.



    The stylistic wanderer.

Myth-as-Ism.                                                Beauty behaving badly.

                      Objects of subjectivity <> at the service of painting.

            Methodical restlessnessnessnessness…..                    Adult form of child’s

play?    Uh, ha, ha, hu, humming someone else’s melody until you forget that you are humming, until it becomes your own and the work makes itself.                                      

          {{{{{Style as generator.}}}}} Rythmn…..Stylistic solecism>>> atomised and transformed into the seed in the bush of life of the next idea ]]                                                .… /-nostalgic futurism……      The ~ritual~ for the relatively serious…… questioning the question is the crux of the quest. 



The film ‘Collisions’ documents the impact between two hollow metal boxes. Launched directly towards each other, the boxes collide, negotiating force and form in a violent conversation, contesting energy and momentum with structure and material, and ultimately resolving their differences through deformation and arrested motion. The impact transfigures the energy of the moving boxes, not only buckling the metal, but vibrating their whole forms, entire surfaces rippling, awash with an excess of force, radiating out into the air as sound. The experiments are enacted with pneumatic launchers and are filmed in slow motion using archaic 16mm film cameras and microphones placed on the surface of the forms.



Conductor is a ‘Faraday Cage’, a hollow conductor that significantly attenuates or blocks electromagnetic radiation: cellular networks, wi-fi, radio transmissions. It conducts and yet it shields. A minimalist object in form. In function, a space within and apart, where even the background radiation of the universe is hushed.



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