Transpondence, MFF 2014

Published online by Buzzcuts, a youth review site run by Express Media. Link to online article: http://buzzcuts.org.au/2014/09/transpondence-mff-2014/

Let your eye lead your mind to an expansion of thoughts on the self, the object and the informational and contextual processes affording the interpretations.

Set across two Melbourne sites, Transpondence is a multi-faceted group exhibition displaying student works from Melbourne’s very own Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Curated by Salazar Quas, included artists are: Hannah Bertram & Dave Evans, Tara Cook, Eric Demetriou, Kerry Leonard, Youjia Lu, Rebecca Monaghan, Stephen Palmer, Salazar Quas and Hannah Smith.

The selection of works include examples of digital art, media art, kinetic art, sound art and installations. They range from physical works, objects that are present in time and space, to those of the digital sphere, challenging the concept of time and space. Certain works are interactive, involving the viewer in the process and concurrently challenging what it means to be a viewer of an artwork in itself.

Exploring concepts of spatial context, the exhibition strips back the usually associated context in place in a non-deliberately manipulated environment, enabling the viewer to re-imagine both themselves and the space around them. It divulges into explorations of information transfer across time and space but, moreover, the bilateral transfer of information between viewer and artwork. It is challenged as to whether context can be eliminated in its entirety, the viewer in essence always bringing personal context with them.

The exhibition also explores the viewer’s response and interaction within a space.  It encourages acknowledgment of the person and the thing, how the self and thing both relate to a presence in time and space, the context imperative to meaning and even sense of being. The elimination of associated context ensures a re-evaluation and subsequently re-interpretation by the viewer of what constitutes an object and a person, what they are thought to be and where their value is seen to lay. Therefore, taking into account how prescribed meaning effects the value and thoughts of something; one is led to a possible new order and way of associating with ones surrounds.

Connecting the artist’s works over two sites furthers interpretation, however, whilst seeing both sites enables a deeper understanding of certain works one does not need to see both to take value or meaning. This heightens the separateness of each work, but demonstrates the influence of increased knowledge from the corresponding artists piece upon interpretation of the other, again displaying the effect of prior knowledge on the establishment of meaning.

The locations in themselves influence perception, and correspond to the pieces shown in them. The Goodtime Studio location (a practicing artists workshop) shows developmental pieces as well as finished works. The order one sees the two locations, or viewing only one, therefore also influences ones interpretation.

The exhibition breaks from typical gallery hangings, creating a vanguard of experimental displays, including displaying works on the floor, on metal pillars which are part of the building itself and across wall corners, reminiscent of early twentieth radical hangings, helping to establish the exhibitions contemporaneity. Utilising two distinct spaces increases the experience and possibility for interpretation. The spaces are thought provoking, both tangible and conceptual.

Being able to see such a diverse range of works by a variety of artists, all exploring their own concepts, yet relating to the broader theme of transpondence, is a great opportunity. It demonstrates local talents, letting you explore the works of some Melbourne based artists, while viewing a show which, albeit small, explores universal concepts.

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