Sunday, 24 April 2016

Marius Moldvaer curated by Luisa Tresca

24 April - 28 May      those things i told you in twilight that amazed us both

One minute older - By the time I walked by that window, everything changed.

Marius Moldvaer. Those things I told you in twilight that amazed us both, 2016.

Walking along Sydney’s Botany Road in Alexandria, a glimpse is caught of a felt triptych hanging from the ceiling of a small window space. Diverse found objects are sewn onto the fabric, and some vaguely recognizable shapes are embroidered in golden thread on the three tapestries.

On the locked door, a QR code redirects to a digital audio file narrated by a male voice, with a distinctive northern European accent, recollecting a three-minute story of an indistinct trip in Australia.

Both objects and language are recognizable (such as for instance the Aboriginal Tent Embassy sewn on the second wall hanging and located just a few blocks away in Redfern, or some cultural and topographical elements the narrator is referring to in his story) and yet a disorientating sense of vagueness, further accentuated by the exotic accent, lingers.

Those things I told you in twilight that amazed us both is the continuation of an ongoing project between artist Marius Moldaver and curator Luisa Tresca, which started with an exhibition at Gaffa, Sydney, in May 2015, and is being developed primarily as a critical tool of exploration.

Originated as an attempt at accessing, exploring and describing unfamiliar places, the project widened its scope of research into the nature of art, language, memory and knowledge, outlining their intrinsic nature, as well as their inefficacy as definitive incontrovertible interpretative systems.

“There is in fact no such thing as an instantaneous photograph”—John Szarkowski

In a way, the exhibition is a self-referential depiction of some fundamental artistic and literary mechanisms, primarily a certain compression of different times within a narrative, and a polyrhythmic asynchronism between the time of production and the times of fruition.

This is particularly evident in the audio-file, which, paying homage to the oral tradition of storytelling (still relevant nowadays in Aboriginal lore), concentrates different narrative times and multiple viewpoints in a three-minute story: the narrator’s past, his somehow vague recollection of those moments, his present re-elaboration of those memories and, on the other side, the potentially limitless times and interpretations of each passer-by listening to his story.

Within the brief interval of their walking by the window, every passer-by can potentially become a co-producer of meaning, listening to an equivocal, non-linear, open text, which, furthermore accentuated by its same oral nature, opens up unlimited interpretational possibilities and allows each listener to hand over their own story through their unique personal lenses.
Within this theoretical frame, the interpretation and depiction of a place and a story become a collective experience, based on different information: experiential sources as well as secondary literary references; the artist’s own memories overlap with other traces, thus reinforcing the idea of an ambivalent interpretation of the facts and to certain extent, bending the very same basis of the whole Galilean modern scientific method.

Adopting instead a method closer to mythical thinking than science, the world we know is known through a narration—the exhibition seems to suggest—and as much as we try to get closer and closer to the core, never can we reach the goal, as in a paradoxical Zenonian situation.
Marius’ project, thus installed in a shop window—a commercial space by nature—and facing onto a public street, a situation normally intended to seduce the viewer with a strong and direct message, suggests instead the exact opposite: an intricate tangle of narratives, sewn on felt and orally narrated, which intertwine unexpectedly and which the random consumers are challenged to decipher and make their own.

Advertisement is based on narrative techniques to persuade and seduce the viewers (the same seduction the ancient mariner used to charm passers-by with his story in the renowned Coleridgean rhyme); it suggests exotic utopias that are exaggerated magnified versions of every day realities. The times of myth (still present nowadays in the aboriginal dreamtime), the time of memories, which in life quite incredibly belongs to the past but lives in the present, are all concentrated in this exhibition, which changes perpetually, and by the brief time we pass by the window, is already different than before and never quite the same.

Luisa Tresca, April 2016