DEATH BE KIND, Elvis Richardson, Claire Lambe

 
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Paradise is where i am _ DEATH BE KIND, sally mannall rod mcnicol victor

Paradise is where I am

3rd November - 21st November 2010

Victor Georgopoulos, Sally Mannall, Rod McNicol

“… paradise is where I am” is the final line of the poem The Worldly One by Voltaire (1736) and the title of this exhibition that brings together three distinct bodies of work that each touch upon experiences of anticipation, fear and ones own mortality.

The Worldly One uses reason with satire to argue that happiness is a state of mind fixed on the materiality of the present rather than a promised heavenly utopia located in the abstract of the ever after. “… paradise is where I am” is about the here and now, the vantage point from which we remember the past and imagine the future.

Rod McNicol’s photographic portraits were produced during a residency in the cancer ward of a Melbourne hospital over 20 years ago. Each sitter only weeks from death was photographed holding an image of their younger selves. While we are familiar with the photographic document as a record of the past and the people in it, anonymity provides a distance where we forget that every photograph prefigures its subjects death. Rod McNicol’s portraits in combination with their titles (Pam died six weeks after this photograph was taken. She is holding a photograph of herself aged six, taken by her father who was to die when Pam was only twelve. 1989); reveal the sitters awareness of the ritual and occasion the images were to commemorate.

Sally Mannall’s photographs The good life, of a semi-naked couple camouflaged in body paint are a humorous and playful consideration of issues of survival and mortality. A middle aged grey haired couple are blurred into an indistinct relationship with their surroundings, a fecund suburban vegetable garden. The work combines the optimism of self-sufficiency as a survival instinct and response to current environmental issues with its inverse potential; the dissimilation of a sense of self into the surrounding milieu. A disappearance through camouflage that is both an exaggeration of precaution in a society obsessed with risk and one that suggests the fragility of life and cyclical processes of reabsorption and renewal - blood and bone.

Victor Georgopoulos is a local historical salvage archaeologist . For this exhibition he has chosen to share a personal collection of items belonging to his great uncle who migrated to Australia from the Macedonian village of Neret in the province of Florina, Northern Greece in 1936 He became the guardian of his orphaned mother whose parents had perished as a result of the Greek civil war. These salvaged items include hand made notebooks detailing his dietary observations recorded as he lived with bowel cancer for the 25 years before his death in 1983 at the age of 87. The collection also includes audio recordings taken during a journey his great uncle and mother took in 1964 to claim a husband for an arranged marriage. This trip was to uncover an alternate ancestral reality where tragic events were to unfold.
Text by Elvis Richardson

Rod McNicol is represented by Pace Gallery, Melbourne. Rod McNicols works in this exhibition are from editions held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

 

Sally Mannall DEATH BE KIND
Sally Mannall
The good life #1
archival digital print
100x100cm
2010

Rod McNicol and  Sally Mannall DEATH BE KIND
Paradise is where I am ...
installation view
[near] Sally Mannall [far] Rod McNicol

Sally Mannall DEATH BE KIND
Sally Mannall
The good life #1
archival digital print
100x100cm
2010

Rod McNicol DEATH BE KIND
Rod McNicol

[left]
Mr Byrnes Portrait
Mr Byrnes died three weeks after this photograph was taken.
He is holding a photograph of himself aged two
(64x52cm)
1989

[right]
Pam Portrait
Pam died six weeks after this photograph was taken.
She is holding a photograph of herself aged six, taken
by her father who was to die when Pam was only twelve.
(64x52cm)
1989


Rod McNicol
Pam Portrait
Pam died six weeks after this photograph was taken.
She is holding a photograph of herself aged six, taken
by her father who was to die when Pam was only twelve.
(64x52cm)
1989


Victor Georgopoulos

I have created an installation of rescued family artifacts from an estate my mother inherited from her uncle in 1983. My great uncle was Anastasios Ristos Kizos whom was a local Macedonian identity in ther Fitzroy area from the 1950s to his death in 1983.He sponsored many Macedonians and ran a boarding house which roomed many afflicted Macedonians post civil war.This cabinet i have created is a work in progress particularly on cultural material interpretaion and its implications.The cabinet weaves around themes of health,love, loss, marriage,identity, murder,honor and betrayal.


Victor Georgopoulos


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