This Situation

DEMO 3.0. 215 Karangahape Road, Auckland

8 October – 10 October 2020

This Situation

the simple fact of presence

the word ‘this’ is a shifter, a linguistic sign filled with meaning only because it is empty.

The shifter can be used to locate oneself in relation to one’s world. Each time the sign/word ‘this’ is invoked it must wait for its referent to be supplied, it is a different type of sign, a kind that is termed the index. An index establishes its meaning along an axis of a physical relationship to what it refers to, to what it points to.

‘this’ might be accompanied by a pointing finger. The point of an index finger enacts a process of making a connection between the linguistic shifter ‘this…’ and its referent. The empty indexical sign is then filled with a specific presence.

A particular cause can make a mark, a trace, an index.

The cast shadow of an outstretched arm could be included in the category of the index, as can physical traces like pawprints in the sand, or fingerprints on a screen.

Surfaces can be made with instances of the index. To adopt the operative logic of the index is to exacerbate an aspect of physical presence and embed it within a perishable trace of one’s own—an artwork.

How exactly might an artwork register a situation in the world?

What is the quality of the trace? The trace is a literal manifestation of presence, like a weather vane’s registration of the wind.

A quality of transfer or trace is that something imprints itself on something else.

Traces, imprints, clues. Each is an example of index as a sign, a physical manifestation of a cause.

The relationship between the artwork and its subject is also that of the index, the impression, the trace.

How much pressure is there to use indexical signs as a means of establishing presence?

Art as a support for the index that can take many configurations

Each artwork captures the presence of an entity, place or situation, finding
strategies to force it to surface into the field of the work. They set up perception of an object or place, each is a statement of having-been-there…

[Exhibition text, DEMO 3.0. This Situation]

Rosalind Krauss, “Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America.” October, Vol. 3 (Spring, 1977), pp.68-81 and “Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America. Part 2.” October, Vol. 4 (Autumn, 1977), pp. 58-67.

1 Megan White, Tumbling Scenery: Landscapes, Forests and Gardens, 2020, Acrylic paint, graphite,
water-soluble graphite, spray paint on paper
2 J. A. Kennedy, Installation, 2020, Twenty-four photographs, steel frame construction with water
3 David Cowlard, Maelstrom, Western Springs Speedway. 2020, HD Video, Stereo Sound. 2’17” looped
4 Sonja Drake, Parts Per Million, 2020, Acrylic on board
5. Llenyd Price, A narrow of the Waikato River, 2020, house paint on plastic and found wood
6 Rachael Smith, Please handle, with care, 2020, digital photographic prints on Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Cotton Rag paper
7 Caryline Boreham, Lakeside Drive, 2018, Ilford Cotton Rag Archival Inkjet Print
8 Llenyd Price, Tracking marker: 585, Tracking marker: 590, and Tracking marker: 597, 2020, acrylic, house paint, found plywood and nails
9 Anton Maurer, Captain Cook Wharf, Quay Street Central business district reclaimed land Tāmaki
Makaurau, 2020, Pigment prints
10 Isabella Young, (To) Indicate, pH6.7, 3 May 2020, Kaipatiki Aotearoa. Acrylic and rainfall on canvas
11 Isabella Young, Surge, 2020, Waitemata Harbour waves, cotton, cyanotype solution, brass grommets
12 Alan Fletcher, Waimokoia/Pt. England, Tamaki River, March/April, 2020, (2020), oil on canvas
13 Jeremy Leatinuu, Tight rope, 2011, Filmed in Church Street, Ōtāhuhu, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, HD Video. 4’24”

Sonja Drake, Parts Per Million, acrylic on board, 400 x 350mm

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