TarraWarra International 2017: All that is solid ...
The worlds created by the artists in this exhibition and the situations that have inspired them are characterised by forms of transition, change and fluidity. Didem Erk (Turkey), Cao Fei (China), Tom Nicholson (Australia), Patrick Pound (Australia), and Cyrus Tang (Australia) each work with ‘non-solid’ processes such as dissolution, tearing, cutting, melting, ruination, chewing, piercing and cancelling.
The phrase, ‘all that is solid melts into air’ is widely considered to represent a modernist impulse where each action causes a contrary reaction. The desire to tear down what has gone before and replace it with something new was part of a revolutionary compulsion common to the historical avant-garde. The artists in this exhibition take an alternative approach. They work across epochs, cultures and artistic disciplines. Rather than attempting to replace the past, they connect with it, often retaining the source materials for their artworks. For many of the artists exhibited here, the archive is an important generator of ideas.
These artists introduce us to events, situations, conditions and environments that have arisen in periods of great change, precarity and transformation. They become our guide, and the artwork is not something solid, but part of a fluid process of exploration. Diverse elements are combined, ‘co-belonging’ in the artworks, while memories are not dissolved and replaced so much as invoked and situated by the artists.
All that is solid … is the third TarraWarra International exhibition, a biennial series of exhibitions designed to showcase leading contemporary art practice in a global context.