IMA Brisbane

INSTITUTE OF MODERN ART | 420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
4006 Brisbane

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artists & participants

press release

James Angus

James Angus's works combine conceptual twists with consumate craft. He takes iconic and everyday forms – classic modernist buildings, an old racing car, a soccer ball, a rhino – and inverts, twists, recolours, divides, realigns, down-sizes, distorts and otherwise transforms them. A spruce scale-model of the Seagram Building lies on its back, revealing a subtle curve. Another model of an iconic building, Lakeshore Drive, folds in upon itself, as a Moebius Strip. Angus loves paradoxes: an upside-down hot-air balloon in the foyer of the Sydney Opera House, or a Mack truck incongrougly parked in a gallery space it couldn’t possibly have entered. Angus often uses computer models to design his works and consults mathematicians, engineers and biologists as part of his research. He renders a Bugatti Type 35, a 1920s grand prix car, life-size, but with a 30 degree tilt. He explores the aerodynamic properties of the Manta Ray. A mosquito and a gorilla skull rendered in tessellated parquetry suggest a mathematical order underlying the evolutionary process. Exhibition organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Supported by Visions Australia.

Mike Parr Early Performances On Video

Mike Parr is one of Australia's most celebrated artists. He has been working since the 1970s. He began as a concrete poet, moved into conceptual and performance art, and in the 1980s started making large scale drawing works and installations. His work is remarkable for the way it combines opposites: conceptualism (with its analytic interests and focus on language) and expressionism (concerned with the emotions, cartharsis). His key concern is the constitution of the subject, the self, identity; often explored in its mediation to an audience. This video compilation gathers film documentation of dozens of groundbreaking early Parr performances, made between 1972 and 1975, where he tests the physical and emotional limits of his body through extreme actions. An inventory of tasks – including 'Hold your breath for as long as possible' and 'Hold your finger in a candle flame for as long as possible' – was made, then enacted. Parr's performances were not only hard on himself, they were grueling to witness. Parr's exemplary suffering provides us with a means to measure the state of our own psychic health.

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James Angus / Mike Parr