East Row Museum, 18 - 22 March 2015
This event was part of the You Are Here festival.
What kinds of objects are brought together when we give curatorial discretion free rein? What happens when fiction becomes part of the way we document history? How can collections be used as a tool for storytelling? Welcome to the East Row Museum: a space for the untold, untrue and unbelievable.
Audiences enjoyed a complimentary audio tour around the Museum, as they viewed collections presented by more than 17 local artists and curators – from half-remembered mementos of motherhood to objects salvaged from time travel to a forgotten 90s sludge pop band.
They could then add their own stories to exhibits in the collection while they visited.
Curators include: Hannah Bath and Chris Carmody; Vanessa Berry; The Sculptural Collective: Tom Buckland, Corri Hakaraia, Janet Ranken, Rebecca Selleck and Sian Watson; Lucy Caldwelll; Oscar Capezio and Naomi Xeros; Chiara Grassia; Peter Jones and Susan Taylor; Zid Mancenido; Frances Staden; and Ellen Wignell.
Director: Yasmin Masri
Exhibition Design: Julia Johnson
Audio tour: Farz Edraki
Project developed by rip publishing
From the Personal Collection by Hannah Bath and Chris Carmody
Hannah Bath and Chris Carmody,
2015, plastic and bakelite double-adaptors in various shades of white and mission brown
This group of 10 people have adapted to sweeping changes in safety standards by forming a community hub. They have no need for further input.
From the Portable Collection by Ellen Victoria Wignell
Skins theme song, Segal
Owned: 2008, iPod Nano 4th generation, 8GB
The iPod Nano was the temporary music fix: at just 8GB it would hold only a few playlists rather than the entire music library that could be held on an iPod Classic. My Classic sadly stopped working after an encounter with the washing machine, and this iPod was leant to me by a friend, who subsequently never asked for it back. Strangely, this iPod was marketed as environmentally friendly, containing arsenic free glass; BFR, mercury, PVC free design (which seems a little worrisome in hindsight when considering earlier models.) Despite this I was more excited by its video capability. I watched one episode of Skins on it, before realizing that just because it had capability as a screen, did not mean it was practical as a portable player. The Skins theme song however, remains extremely catchy.
From the Caverna Magica Collection by Vanessa Berry
Loop Gorge (Just Keep Walking)
Year of production unknown, printed card
If I kept walking and didn't stop I would walk out of the city and through the suburbs, over the mountains and the plains and into the desert. I would look behind me and see no footprints in the sand, I would be as light as a ghost. In the west I would reach the place where the rocks swirl in marble patterns, each line a thousand years, counting back to the beginning of time.
Recreation of Evelyn Greene’s still life painting ‘It’s Still Life with Fruits, Flowers, and a Book’, 1968 (destroyed 1969), a re-collection by Oscar Capezio and Naomi Xeros
Born Yass NSW, 31 May 1906, Died 1971
The Recreation of Evelyn Greene’s Still Life re-presents a macabre allegory of the painter’s despair and eventual decline. This living still life (or vie nature morte) restages and reflects the absence of the original work, and the sense of loss at its centre. A mere parody of the authentic, it attempts to mirror the terrible force of decay in the face of death; re-doubling the artist’s ferocious drive to death, through superficial surfaces of objects with unshakable significance. What we see here is haunted by what is outside, or out of sight: a spectral past and a self-undone, or done-in.
The late Evelyn Greene (b.1906) was an Australian painter of allegorical still lifes and interiors. The work ‘It’s Still-Life with Fruits, Flowers, and a Book’ was undertaken during a period of prolonged melancholic introspection, when at the end of the 1960s Greene began to reflect on a failure to achieve recognition in light of a rising avant-garde. Presumably destroyed by the artist after its exhibition at Watters Gallery in Sydney in 1968, this richly symbolic composition offers a complex portrait and dynamic context for the painter’s last years.
From the Oral History Collection by Zid Mancenido
OBJECT#2 (second from left)
2015, Painting: acrylic paint on rubber and plastic
This painting is based entirely on memories of what once lay on the bathroom vanity in the artist’s childhood home in Bankstown, Sydney. The rubber and plastic were painted consecutively and each individual bristle is retouched in homage to his childhood fascination with the difference between the materials used in bristles and dental floss. This fascination was to fuel the rest of the artist’s life work, effectively the catalyst for further productions of complex oral hygiene related constructions.
From Treasures from the Museum of Slack Motherhood, by Frances Staden
Early 1980s, dentine and enamel
These sets of milk teeth belong to a brother and sister now in their mid-thirties. In line with standard Museum requirements, the donor does not remember which set is which.
Our collection includes a wide range of teeth, some identified, many not. Other common physical mementos are locks of hair, often from the first haircut, and, for the not so squeamish, umbilical cord stumps. In rare cases there is an intended use for the item: jewellery perhaps or garden fertilisation.
From the Museum of Time Travel Collection by the Sculptural Collective: Tom Buckland, Corri Hakaraia, Janet Ranken, Rebecca Selleck and Sian Watson.
Mr. Steven's Synthetic Organ Delivery Service Drone
2015 – Commercially produced radio drone chassis (customised), synthetic heart
With advancements in medical technology in the mid 2010's, artificial organs became popular and affordable. Lovers could woo their sweethearts with the gift of a beating synthetic heart. An extra breast became a popular baby shower gift and an additional spleen became a sought after fashion accessory. Seizing on this popularity, remote controlled drones were purposed to deliver door-to-door organs for a nominal fee. However, the service was soon deemed a failure due to the interference of pedestrians and dogs.
From the Mixed Concrete collection by Peter Jones and Susan Taylor
The English kinetic sculptor Ken Cox was knocked over and killed by a car while visiting London in 1968. He was 41 and on the cusp of national and international recognition. ‘I feel entirely at home with the concrete concept. Probably I should be called a sculptor and yet I came to sculpture through poetry.’ (Ken Cox, 1968).
From the Frayed Collection: a brief retrospective of Canberra’s lost sludge pop band Splinter by Chiara Grassia
Rare press photograph intended for Splinter’s debut album, Slush Pile. Splinter (clockwise from top left): Ivy Grey (drums), Tabitha Sunday (guitar), Bob Cook (bass), Billy Don’t (vocals).
From the Breaking Points collection by Lucy Caldwell
Fragment, Fragments, Fragmented (detail)
2015, glass, bronze
Fragment, Fragments, and Fragmented mimic movement and action. This series is perhaps the most literal of the artist’s focus on ‘happy accidents’. Each miniscule sculpture stands at a different stage of force; fracturing at different intensities to show the viewer just how far the medium can be pushed.