Subverting the Machined Paradigms of Life: Linda Adair reviews ‘Imperceptible Resistances’ -Modern Art Project Blue Mountains

IMPERCEPTIBLE RESISTANCES — Modern Art Project Blue Mountains (MAP BM). At the Everglades Gallery daily 11.00 am until 3.00 pm until the Sunday 23 December at 3.pm. http://www.nationaltrust.org.au/event/everglades-gallery-imperceptible-resistances

Rochford Street Review recommend that any lovers of modern art in the mountains this week visit the Everglades Gallery, Leura, (pictured) to catch the final days of Imperceptible Resistances the first annual exhibition at this world famous site by MAP BM (Modern Art Projects Blue Mountains).

Curator Lizzy Marshall invited MAP BM artists to produce works which would demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit and subvert the networked or machined paradigms of life. In response to this call for works to be displayed in the Gallery within the world-renown Everglades National Trust site, 16 artists worked within their preferred mediums, to create imperceptible resistances to politics, conservation, personal freedom, and public spaces. This has resulted in a thematically coherent yet diverse body of work by the following featured artists: Vivienne Dadour, Frank Davey & Tess Rapa, Fiona Davies, Beata Geyer, Anne Graham, Danica Knezevic, Tom Loveday, Fleur MacDonald, Paul Mosig, Sean O’Keeffe, Naomi Oliver, Ebony Secombe, Rebecca Waterstone, and Gianni Wise.

The finished works play with, and subvert notions of, historical narrative and ownership, memory and power and, to paraphrase the invitation to the launch, posit heritage sites as places of resistance and change. Many works interrogate economies of oppression in surprising ways, creating beautiful or delicately unsettling pieces of art is the case with works by Fiona Davies, Anne Graham and Vivienne Dadour:

Fiona Davies continues her critique of the healthcare industry and its use of blood and plasma with another facet of the Blood and Silk Series Blood Farming/The Producers . (http://www.fionadavies.com.au/default4.asp)

Fiona Davies Blood on Silk: Blood Farming/The Producers, 2018

Anne Graham’s piece (part of a larger series) beautifully explores notions of music, instruments, nationalism and warfare using a bricolage of elements including a pianola roll of the Blue Danube waltz, a keyboard and the delicately arranged pendants that prove to be on closer inspection the gleaming shell casings of bullets. In this silent piece, Graham renders an iconic musical piece as a visual rather than aural experience, whilst summoning associations in the mixed media of the punch card technology of IG Farben’s Hollerith numbers which, via the Nazi  Holocaust fed into IBM and ultimately shaped the world we live in today.

Anne Graham System Hopping, 2018

Three of the Vivienne Dadour works in this show are site specific explorations of the Everglades itself, after much detailed research of the National Trust archive.The works foreground the magnificent and undervalued contribution made by the unknown craftsmen who worked on creating the terraces, walls and vistas that form the grand hard landscaping of this wonderful design by the acclaimed landscape gardener by Paul Sorensen.

Vivienne Dadour A Biography of Place: The — Unknown Craftsmen at Everglades c1932-35

The other works are of uniformly high standard and there are some wonderful pieces that would make great Christmas presents for yourself or someone you love a lot.

Imperceptible resistances builds on the successes of two other shows involving MAP BM artists: Explorers: narratives of site and Kiosk 3×6 projects. As Rochford Press is now based in the Blue Mountains, we were delighted to encounter MAP BM and to learn that it has a great 2019 planned under the guidance of President Fiona Davies, with the support of Vice-President Ian Milliss, Treasurer Beata Geyer and Secretary Alex Gooding with committee members Vivienne Dadour, Naomi Oliver and Rebecca Waterstone.

 – Linda Adair


Linda Adair is a Blue Mountains based writer and critic and one half of Rochford Press.

Contact details for Modern Art Projects – Blue Mountains can be found at https://www.modernartprojects.org/