The artist presents an installation. Appearing almost otherworldly 'Somewhere' is an observation of an atmosphere or experience other to that of our own; the plausible world that is exile and a confirmation of our transcendent existence. In demonstrating the uncertainty of the contemporary human motive, video, photography, metal drawn, kinetic and porcelain sculptures are utilised to define what is essentially ambiguous, a reality in the half light.
Galerie schleicher+lange is proud to present 'somewhere', a solo show by Australian artist Mel O'Callaghan.
Born 1975 in Sydney (AUS), O'Callaghan studied Visual Arts (BA Honours), Science Architecture (BA) and is currently undertaking an (MA) in Fine Arts in Australia. Mel O'Callaghan currently lives and works in Berlin (D) and Paris (F).
Her work has been shown internationally in numerous exhibitions, among others at the Sherman Galleries, Sydney (AUS), The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AUS) Taipei International Artist Village (Taiwan), Witte de Witt, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (NL), the Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (AUS) and at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague (CZ).
She has recently been selected as a finalist for both the National Sculpture Prize at the National Gallery of Australia (AUS) and the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award (AUS), exhibitions to follow in spring / summer 2005.
For her first solo exhibition in a European gallery, galerie schleicher+lange presents O'Callaghan's latest works, conceived especially for this occasion.
Putting forth a prediction of human tragedy, O'Callaghan presents an installation that is defined by its fragility and potentiality rather than it's solidity or completeness. Appearing almost otherworldly 'Somewhere' is an observation of an atmosphere or experience other to that of our own; the plausible world that is exile and a confirmation of our transcendent existence. In demonstrating the uncertainty of the contemporary human motive, video, photography, metal drawn, kinetic and porcelain sculptures are utilised to define what is essentially ambiguous, a reality in the half light.
In the video, 'Somewhere', a presence / absence dichotomy inhabits a visible world that is haunted by the plausibility of another. We are witness to the plight of a group of people who in exile travel Somewhere but instead find themselves Nowhere.
A series of sculptures, metal drawings and photographs that work as connected moments; motifs, tones, and moods that can be defined by what we experience as a state of ambiguity. All lay exposed for one to ponder their fragility; an uncertain surface of water freezes and then cracks and melts through the day, porcelain landscapes underline the threat of the landscape that is the setting of the video, fine etched metal drawings evoke the form of those in mid fall and the haunting photographic image of 'Somewhere's' ambiguous young hero observes us and stands alone.
When the solidity of our 'thereness' is in question, we find ourselves eliding the boundaries of the real and the unreal in order to provoke what has now become a secure sense of ambiguity, a slippage between waking and dreaming.
" O'Callaghan's practice could be characterised by its attention to detail ruthlessness in extracting the superfluous to articulate the covert mechanics and poetics of the world.....it is as if she has awoken from 100 years of slumber and - with the precision of an architectural draughtsman - went about the task of reassembling sites from memory. The outcome is an intuitive fusion of irregularly collegial isms: minimalism, modernism and romanticism."
Alexi Glass, Monument Magazine 47, April/May 2002
Mel O'Callaghan is also represented by Sherman Galleries in Sydney (AUS).
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