ACE Open respectfully acknowledges the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respects to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.

ACE Open tampinthi, ngadlu Kaurna yartangka panpapanpalyarninthi (inparrinthi). Kaurna miyurna yaitya mathanya Wama Tarntanyaku. Parnaku yailtya, parnaku tapa purruna, parnaku yarta ngadlu tampnthi. Yalaka Kaurna miyurna itu yailtya, tapa purruna, yarta kuma puru martinthi, puru warri-apinthi, puru tangka martulayinthi.

recess presents

8 May - 17 July

Space of In-Betweeness by Georgia Button

With text by Kate Meakin

Digital video with sound, 5 min
Image courtesy of the artist
© Georgia Button

Depth of field

Ivory

Grandma made my dress, couldn’t envision what I was going to do if we ran out – oh that’s no problem she said, I’ve got some net that I used to have over the babies cribs… Crackling vocal cords, an unfinished sentence. Tenderly spoken by an elderly woman, this fragment of a story feels like a family heirloom. We find our way through the gaps in her speech to envision a modest white wedding gown and matching veil cut from the same cloth. Familiarity with a space, another person, can draw down a veil of sorts, eliciting domestic blindness. Behind this opaque screen of fabric the eyes are dulled to the full picture ahead, senses register movements over details  – when lifted things can seem unbearably clear.

Platinum

“The rim broke”, a tie has snapped. Once you fly the nest you are always in a state of returning to the place you once called home. You can’t quite re-enter this space as an insider once you leave, although it might still seem to belong to you on a primal, nostalgic level. The family home becomes more a part of you than you are of it. Georgia’s family name – Button – feels apt for a work that seeks out touch. The camera lens glides and quivers, like a waking eye struggling to register its point of focus, like a mind reaching to grasp exactly what its body is trying to tell it. There is a sensory pleasure to this disarticulation – an ambiguity that allows one to feel intermittent desire and dread towards the idea of possessing a whole image. A camera that seeks to feel rather than explain what is happening before it. An apprehensive gaze unsure of how to sit with its surroundings.

Silver  

Light sensitive silver particles cluster to trace an image first in the emulsion of film, then on paper in a pool of developer liquids inside the photography dark room. There is a physicality to the chemistry of these analogue processes that the automated functions of digital photography so often remove. The pervasive smart phone with its slim, hard edge and symmetrical design is complicit in this numbing, despite being the site where we physically touch and share images everyday. The phone’s tiny lens is nearly to the same ratio as the eyes on the human body. When in use the camera’s vision takes up the entire screen, feeling all consuming. Other apps are always running in the background silently mining all sorts of details about our interests and movements. Their findings come back to haunt us through algorithmic advertisements, like symbols planted in our unconsciousness that return to us through dreams. We still seem to see so much when we close our eyes. In the scheme of things the eyes are just the first stop on the map of our bodies, where images we encounter travel through.

Gold

My first visual memory is also a bodily, tactile one; the memory of falling into a creek as a one year old and opening my eyes and lungs to the shallow bed of water. As my throat rejected the muddied fluid, my eyes opened wider with fascination at the glimmering multi-hued pebbles beneath them, before being pulled back to land and air by my panicked mother. I wouldn’t have known how to leave the rippling spectacle otherwise. Panned of all its mineral riches a century before, the creek itself was an old gold mining site. We had camped in a canvas tent, but as the story was narrated back to me as a child I somehow replaced the memory image of this shelter with a colonial settler’s hut, picturing a chimney emitting cosy puffs of smoke.

Written by Kate Meakin
 

Kate Meakin is an artist living and working in Narmm/Melbourne.

Georgia Button is an emerging, South Australian based multidisciplinary artist, working primarily with video, sound and installation. Her current works examine sensory aspects of various lived experiences, investigated through the materiality of particular camera techniques. She creates work between her residence in Adelaide and her family farm in the Mid-North, South Australia. After completing the first year of a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) at Flinders University in 2016, Georgia transferred to Adelaide Central School of Art, in order to pursue moving-images in a visual art context.

The footage in this work was filmed on Nukunu land (Mid-North, South Australia). I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land, the Nukunu people, and pay my respects to elders past present.

Georgia Button
Space of In-Betweeness, 2019
Digital video with sound, 5 min
Image courtesy of the artist
© Georgia Button

Hero(es) by Aaron Claringbold and Rebecca McCauley

With text by Neika Lehman

2019, single channel digital video with audio, 7 min 9 sec
Image courtesy the artists
© Aaron Claringbold & Rebecca McCauley

1. hoy!

what would churn interest?
to simply not re-enact?
to recede into something other
than an eco skirmish,
just like this…

what numbers please,
To have the confidence to
name this instead
with M:
mass-acres of fresh lively grass
laid flat
by trailers’ grilled feet

mud-busted vein
slog wood matters

ornate history society stuff
deadwood doors
done nothin
but chronicle trouble.

mechanics of:
how they got started
now erosion is an overused
word

how about we try harder
look to beauty in shit like
eutrophos
until that’s no matter too

understanding that

orders of well-nourished
charts
gone breathe
shouldn’t have taken that many fish

that

mud boats slide thick matter
from one historical spot to another
“paths past-travelled”
thick-arms
photos
cheers

& it did nothing

mud down the gullet
litres got a logo

who would want
to re-enact today

 

2.

this is a domestic space
this old river
there is intimacy here

long and loving laughter
warm entries
you would like to imagine this,
wouldn’t you?

frog shudders a plonk
across alluvial perfection
amphitheatre sounds

on a silent night
we come
refigure ears here

the river is not obscure
and will not become abstract
sad u won’t know until..

until?
it withdraws its care
it turns away
and we.. go

40 nations or basically a UN
in agreement: stop sign
in multiple languages

mother will not forget
river’s recent obscurity
and that one third production
from blind mouths
that fed.
 

Written by Neika Lehman

Neika Lehman is a writer and artist, living and working in Narrm since 2014. They grew up in nipaluna/Hobart and belong to the Trawlwoolway peoples of north east Tasmania.

author’s note:
“Paths past-travelled” is a reference to Natalie Harkin’s 2014 essay ‘The Poetics of (Re)Mapping Archives: Memory in the Blood’.

 

Aaron Claringbold and Rebecca McCauley are emerging artists currently based in Naarm/Melbourne. Creating predominantly photo-based works the pair bring together shared interests to explore land, land-use, ecology and human presence within modern day ‘Australia’. In particular, they look to explore ways in which human impact and ideologies have shaped conceptions of nature through colonisation, feeding nationalistic identities around place. Reflecting on their shared positionality as settler-descendant white Australians, Rebecca and Aaron are inspired by work that confronts the entanglement of ecocide and genocide, and the social processes that engender them. They have a particular interest in practices that centre place-based bonding and responsibility, and that complicate the myriad of essentialisms underpinning the Australian Colonial Project.

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the area depicted as the Yorta Yorta people.

We acknowledge the shared land and proximity of the Baraba Baraba and the Ngurai illam Wurrung, and that the waters of the river this work is made on have nurtured and sustained tens of thousands of generations of people. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Aaron Claringbold & Rebecca McCauley
Hero(es), 2019
Single channel digital video with audio, 7 min 9 sec
Images courtesy of the artists
© Aaron Claringbold & Rebecca McCauley

Video taken though an unsecured cctv camera overlooking public space on the Murray River in Echuca Moama. Recorded over the long weekend of 26 January.
Underwater recordings of marine vessels supplied courtesy of the Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University.
The dual towns of Echuca Moama sit on the banks of the Murray and Campaspe River, across both Victoria and New South Wales.

 
 

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