FEATURED ARTIST 

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DARA GILL

Born in Australia 1986, currently lives in Sydney.

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Dara Gill NOW Counter (Current Birthrate/Deathrate Four Births Per Second, Two Deaths Per Second) 2011. High-Definition Video, LCD Television with Media Player, Perspex, 480x330mm each. 

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SUPERKALEIDOSCOPE PRESENTS EMERGING ARTIST DARA GILL WITH TEXT BY ART WRITER REBECCA O'DWYER

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Rebecca O’Dwyer on 'Now-ness' and the work of Dara Gill

In his show at MOP Projects, In Action, Inaction, Dara Gill presents a body of work  which seems to exist at the threshold of fear – fear of doing something, but also the fear of failing to do anything at all. Life and death are enclosed within this space; fifty things you must do before you die, and the interminable saturation of days come to fruition through pre-emptive unease and planning. Often in his work, the viewer or reluctant participant is forced to engage with a proposition that they generally ignore at all costs. Here at MOP, this takes the form of a psychological stress test (Untitled (Survey with Stones,) 2011), in which participants make their answers physically manifest by placing stones in one of two places – one ‘Yes,’ the other ‘No.’ The range of questions by which stress is measured here seems painfully inadequate, outdated almost, and unable to factor in a multitude of other, more contemporary anxieties. Additionally, the book from which the test derives is pointedly cited as found, and is as such a hopelessly ineffectual kind of salve. Indeed that seems to be the crux of the work: a deep awareness of the claustrophobic stresses specific to this historic moment, a desperation to fix them on a subjective level, and thus a quotidian entanglement in their continued existence. We make lists to fill up our days, but do nothing to make these days more meaningful; we simply fill them. We fail to take any choices at all, but simply carry on in the hope that someone else might. Gill’s work, in the very action of making us choose, didactically or otherwise, holds up our apathy to ourselves: we endure stress not because of the choices we make, but by the failure to make any at all.

In another piece, the video work Now Counter (Current Birthrate/Deathrate – Four Births Per Second, Two Deaths Per Second), 2011), another specifically contemporary anxiety is made subtly tangible; that is, the population explosion and adjunctive depletion of the resources for life. ‘Now’, flickering persistently seems to demand, yet again, some form of response or choice. However, consideration of this ‘Now’ moment is precisely the response that keeps us immobile and dumb: it is only by moving exterior to its demarcations that we can move forwards – or backwards, or horizontally – in any productive fashion. Furthermore, any critique of Capitalism, irrevocably bound up with such contemporary phenomena, must also involve a critique of ‘Now-ness’, in so doing witnessing the present in measurably less favourable terms. Always historicise, indeed, but also never cease to imagine a future superior to this ‘Now.’

It is by presenting us with binaries (yes/no; birth/death etc.) that Gill demonstrates a relativism that results in a contemporary anxiety that says things cannot be so: black cannot only be black, white not simply white. Things become complicated, muddled, and not long thereafter comes the fear to feel or enact by any definitive means. At this point, Gill reverts back to that decision, the one that felt so simplistic enclosed within gallery walls. Here, decisions are final, their signification coming to rest as stones on the ground. As I traversed the space, negotiating my way around all of these physical, irrevocable decisions, I had the feeling that such decisions are specific to art itself – outside of the gallery circumstance fights hard to flatten this ease. And so it is by reflecting on this simplicity of choice, so particular to Gill’s work, that something meaningful might be gained, outside.


Rebecca O’Dwyer is an art writer from Ireland, currently living in Sydney, Australia. 


 

 

Top left: NOW Counter (Current Birthrate/Deathrate Four Births Per Second, Two Deaths Per Second) 2011. High-Definition Video, LCD Television with Media Player, Perspex, 480x330mm each.Top right & bottom left: Untitled (Survey with stones) 2011. Stones, Rope, Timber, Clipboards, Paper, Survey from Found Book. Dimensions Variable. Bottom right: To Do List 2011, 50 Page custom designed notepad, offset printed. Edition of 250. 105 × 148mm each. Installation at MOP Projects, Sydney, Australia.

All photographs taken by Dara Gill.


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EXHIBITION

Dara Gill In Action, Inaction

1st December - 17th December 2011

In Action, Inaction continues Gill's investigation into the topic of anxiety with a focus on the gap between intention and action. In this new body of work Gill examines what effect anxiety has on action and explores its paralysing effect. He asks, what forces us to put off tasks that seem important? What role does logic play in spurring action? And can inaction be attributed to the mundane, the repetitive or the impossible?

Dara Gill is an emerging artist working with a diverse range of mediums within the visual arts including video, sculpture, painting, sound and installation. Graduating in Visual Arts at the University of Wollongong in 2007 and Honours in Fine Arts (Sculpture) at the UNSW's College of Fine Arts in 2009, his current work investigates the nature of anxiety through situational based research. Gill is a currently a director at Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney and this exhibition forms his final outcome of his JUMP Mentorship with MCA Curator Glenn Barkley.


MOP Projects

Thursday - Saturday 1 - 6pm, Sunday + Monday 1 - 5 pm 

2/39 Abercrombie St, Chippendale, NSW 2008 Australia


PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DARA GILL'S WEBSITE>>


© All Images are courtesy of the artists.




This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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Each month SuperKaleidoscope will feature an emerging artist selected by the directors.

If you would like to make a submission please contact the SK Directors.
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