Be Finale of Seem – a series of events about death and the way it structures life
by Steven Anderson
7-8pm, Friday, 13 July 2012
To go back to the theme of death, it seems like you take two different approaches. One is to take onboard the very act of creating a work and exhibiting it after it is made. It then becomes an exhibition of a dead object or a dead image. In addition, the decision to draw from a skull, the epitome of mortality and then exhibit it puts you in a position of confronting the very situation that you want to avoid. I wonder if this is in any way off-putting for you. The other approach, of making a performance together with or with the consciousness of audience, almost seems to be a way of resisting any possibility of viewing a work that is dead. I also wonder how the performance will alter the way that the paintings are viewed and what kind of meanings will be created. I have some thoughts on the title, R. P. Anderson, being your late father’s name, as well as Received Pronunciation. We didn’t speak much about it, but when I think of it, it seems that choosing to use his initials is a choice of wanting to be publicly acknowledged as your father’s son, as part of a lineage and of tradition. It also makes me think of how titling the event becomes a memorial of sorts. That in making work (and therefore creating your legacy), his name continues in the process. It feels like an acknowledgement of how our thoughts and actions are indebted to the past.
Excerpt of email from Mag Chua to Steven Anderson, March 2012
The subjects of The Performance Group’s Dionysus ’69 and the Shanidar Neanderthals are attractive because of the archetypal being, the base ‘humanity’, the histories reformed by layers of interpretation. – In painting an image the painter draws it into his history, as the act of making it is towards posterity. A painting is not an active present unless it is continuously painted to keep it current. This would be a drag of time. – To paint it in the gallery is a daunting prospect as it might become incomplete and it will look dated because the subject and medium is, but it might be more alive than any other painting I’ve done. – Live performance is made as an opposition, where using the voice as a form of release contrasts with the containment of a painting. The same concerns remain. A kind of dramatic mortality is the subject of the paintings and this becomes the form of the vocal performance.
Notebook extracts by Steven Anderson
From 7pm, paintings from archival images made during the day in studio 41 will be on view. From 7.30pm, a vocal performance will be presented in relation to the artifacts on display.