Thursday, 31 May 2012
Ian Burns: In the Telling
See image credit below
ACMI proudly presents In the Telling, an exhibition of new works by New York based Australian artist Ian Burns. Presented in ACMI's Gallery 2, In the Telling launches the latest ACMI Commission, a suite of five interconnected kinetic sculptures which generate their own real-time video, titled anywhere and here.
"Ian Burns is one of the most inventive Australian artists working today," says ACMI Head of Exhibitions Conrad Bodman "He boasts a truly unique aesthetic that cleverly combines two usually distinct art forms: the moving image and sculptural assemblage. We are delighted to be commissioning Ian's latest body of work, which is curious and playful but also offers an incisive critique of film genres. The exhibition is a wonderful fit for ACMI."
Burns' work is inspired by contemporary consumer culture. His art often draws parallels between product consumption and image consumption. In the Telling specifically explores the road movie genre, summoning familiar visions of the empty landscape, the wide open road and the car-in-motion, to destabilise powerful cinematic clichés. The sculptures' clunky, convoluted forms serve to undermine the clichéd images, and the values and mythologies that this popular genre typically communicates. To quote Burns: "These days, Route 66 is mostly a dull multi-lane highway, with franchise chain outlets spaced at regular intervals. The mythology developed around it leads to traffic jams of travellers believing that a trip down its tarmac will lead to enlightenment."
For In the Telling, Burns has carefully selected and assembled everyday domestic objects sourced from department stores, such as Big W, K-Mart and Bunnings. Each sculptural assemblage has an in-built camera, through which surprisingly believable and epic, special-effects are generated. A rotating plastic salad bowl paired with an energy-saving light-bulb creates the image of a cloud-speckled sky. A toy airplane dangling on fishing line is recast as a jet-plane soaring overhead, the reverberation of the computer's cooling fan mimics the sound and shake of high-zoom camera footage. In each interconnected scene, light and motion are harnessed to grandiose effect to produce a scene that would fit within any contemporary road movie.
In recent years Ian Burns has held solo exhibitions in Dublin, Vienna, St. Louis, New York, Melbourne, Paris and Madrid. Group exhibitions include the Liege Biennial in Belgium (2012), the Anne Landa Award at the Art Gallery of NSW (2011) and Housebroken, at the Flux Factory, New York (2010). Burns' work is included in a number of public collections, including the Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the Berge Collection, Spain, the Chartwell Collection, Auckland and 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky. Burns is a current recipient of a Queensland College of Art, Griffith University Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship.
In addition to this list of achievements, his major new work anywhere and here will tour nationally with the 5th International Biennial of Media Art Experimenta Speak to Me, in 2013-14. Experimenta Director Jen Mizuik has commented "We are thrilled to bring this timely and relevant commission to Australian audiences in partnership with ACMI and to tour it nationally as part of Experimenta Speak to Me through to 2014."
Ian Burns has also been selected as the 2012 Melbourne Art Foundation Commission Artist. His work will be viewable at the Melbourne Art Fair 2012 from 1 - 5 August.
In the Telling will show exclusively at ACMI from 24 July 2012 to 20 January 2013. For more information visit acmi.net.au/ianburns
Ian Burns is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery, and mother's tankstation, Dublin.
Image: Ian Burns, anywhere and here, 2012. Image courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.
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