Sunday, 12 February 2017

Marlene Sarroff

8 February - 11 March      You Get What You Choose : 365 Day Instagram Project

Marlene Sarroff. You Get What You Choose, 2016-2017. Assemblages of Found Objects.

These works are a small collection of a much larger collection of 365 works, the product of a disciplined daily practice of making an artwork, photographing it and posting it on Instagram. The work is a combination of Social Media, Technology, and Art.

Marlene Sarroff. You Get What You Choose. 2017. Assemblages of found objects

The work is made from a diverse range of found things. It is an investigation of the ordinary from the perspective of the "found" be it the rejected, the disposable, the temporary or forgotten objects that are intrinsically part of this creative process. All discovered things create vital possibilities that are transcended through a daily practice of living the everyday aesthetically.

Most important is allowing spontaneity, freedom, chance encounters and the unexpected as well as  meeting the demands  of a daily practice of  being vitally alert. What transpires in making the work is  accidentally miraculous, an engagement with a new kind of anthropology, an immersion in the pleasures of popular culture, or a meditation on what happens unexpectedly. 

It simply is a means of seeing everyday objects in a new light. As Henri Lefebvre, a theorist on this subject, notes the "concept of everydayness (can) reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary.  At a philosophical level the celebration of the everyday has oppositional and dissident overtones, offering a voice to the silenced and proposing possibilities for change. 

Instagram, is an important component in the creation of this project. Posting the work daily creates another aspect of showing  art  by presenting the Project to an  audience that can see and follow as the Project evolves over 365 Days.  Each day is different and presents a spontaneous creation pertaining to the day of the artist.Instagram is contributing to the Project as the works will be installed in the gallery space (future)  in the same order as posted on Instagram.  The idea of having an instant viewing audience daily is inspirational for the artist and propels the work to continually be created and shared. The artist is assessing the overall look as the work evolves. Each day photographing the work and to ensure a good image, prior to posting is paramount.

Marlene Sarroff

Beginning of Marlene Sarroff's installation of 'You Get What You Choose'.      
Marlene's thoughts on her process in assemblages of found objects made an impression on me in how, through art practice, aesthetics can be used as a vehicle for mindful living in our daily lives. Through finding the manufactured discards and mindful personal response,  creative process takes place using simple assembling of disparate found pieces.   This body of work follows a strict parameter as described in Marlene's text.  In this process, this project has humbly and deeply encapsulated art practice as an ethos for life lived in a mindful way.

Visually, the artworks exemplify art making incorporating materials with trace of the 'intelligence of manufacturing' with technologies of our time.  It is important for Marlene that the found materials are not 'interfered with'.  The integrity of the found materials is to be kept intact as much as possible. The outcome and process are dictated by the materials' characteristics. This in itself is a way of relating with respect in one's day to day encounters, being with another being or our environment.  

Our environment is mostly surrounded with manufactured materials.  The discards appearing in Marlene's works are office stationery, foam materials for packaging consumer products, advertising off cuts, rubber mats, factory discards.  The emphasis of creativity and making of this body of artwork is shifted from the making to the aesthetic 'response' and deep appreciation of the materials followed with visual recognition of creative possibilities to repurpose the found pieces into a artworks.  The result is a 'mash' of the 'intelligence of manufacturing' of our time and Marlene's aesthetic judgments.   On that basis, 'of the time' is intrinsic in the expressions of these works. 

The works also lend themselves to reflect the excess of the society we live in, a reading suggested by Marlene's title 'You Choose What You Get'. The title suggests abundance of materials.  There are choices and the certainty of  getting what one chooses is never an issue.  All that is needed is a decision.  This is not unlike the shopping experience in an affluent, capitalist society, where the options of getting a product serving the same purpose are plentiful. Good judgement and decision are all it takes to take one home. 


As the industrial wastes are re-purposed for the desired aesthetic experience, Marlene has assembled endless permutations of these to be had.  The artworks are displayed in the lit Slot window, itself a repurposed shop window on Botany Road.  They promise a delightful experience with its spendour of colours, textures and shapes-  a vision of Utopia of materiality in a lightbox.  The viewers get to choose the aesthetic experience brought to them through 'a work a day' from Marlene's  studio.

Anie Nheu 

February 2017

Marlene Sarroff. You Get What You Choose, 2016-2017.