3 July 2021 - 18 September 2021
Artists: Laksmi Shitaresmi, Jeremy Blincoe, Monica Lim, Peter Ellis, Misklectic’, Abdil Setiawan, Fika Rai Santika.
Curated by Honorary Professor Julian Goddard. RMIT School of Art.
This exhibition explores the work of seven artists who work incorporate or address animism in their practices. The exhibition brings the deep history of this tendency in human thinking into the present and questions not only its value, but also why it has persisted as a form of expression. The exhibition defers to animism in art, popular culture, everyday language and our thinking.
Indonesian and Australian artists explore animism and the ancient wisdom of the human/animal and other hybrid forms, drawing varied significance and presenting a multiplicity of perspectives. Animism’s inclusive belief system urges us to move away from our human-centric notions and to listen, communicate and show respect to all beings and things. It also speaks to the transformation of the human body and spirit allowing stronger connections with nature – both seen and unseen. Each artist uses different mediums to explore the ancient wisdom of the hybrid form, drawing from it varied significance and presenting a multiplicity of perspectives.
Laksmi Shitaresmi’s a life-size hybrid sculptures explore the role of women in contemporary Indonesia society through transformation, fantasy and parody. Jeremy Blincoe’s highly crafted sculpture animates the space between nature and imagination through biomorphism, bringing being to wood. Monica Lim’s collaborative videos illustrate the beauty of transformational sound. Peter Ellis’ Surrealist-like paintings use the human/animal hybrid to represent the unconscious and produce metaphors. Misklectic’s beautiful sculpture Pudica speaks to the shame of the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef through a metaphorical goddess-like figure. Similarly, Abdil Setiawan’s impressive life-size carving of feasting figures critics consumption and excess at the cost of the environment. While Fika Rai Santika’s delicate free-standing robe celebrates the transcendence of the human spirit.