Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Not feeling talkative....

I've just noticed that it's been a VERY long time since I last posted something to the blog. It's all just yelling into a void anyway so perhaps it's better to save my breath... maybe even make some work?!

There have been quite a few setbacks of late - rejected proposals, 'Dear John' letters, etc - so my enthusiasm is a bit thin for the presentation of 'stuff'... especially given the expenses of being independent artists. It's all still brewing, just not likely to be shown anywhere 'soon'.

Other than a few small group shows and a fundraiser, March 2016 will likely be the next outing.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page as I'm more likely to put stuff there: https://www.facebook.com/zebra-factorycom-125311714165969/timeline/

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Project Updates

We have quite a bit planned for 2015 so here a quick update:

Elisa Markes-Young - The Original Place: Elisa is preparing a high-end, hand-made book of 'The Original Place' for 'Between the Sheets'. This will be on from 7 March – 2 April 2015 at Gallery Central (Central Institute of Technology). More information here: http://www.galleryeast.com.au/general/books15D.html

Elisa is also preparing a new suite of work from 'The Original Place' for various upcoming shows as well as the exhibition at Heathcote Museum and Gallery (together with Chris) from 2 October to 8 November 2015 March to April 2016.

Christopher Young - Six: the 'domestic' aspects of this project will be expanded in order to complete a large monograph. This blurb-produced book will include work from 'drei', 'five' and 'six' and will be exhibited at PhotoBook Independent in Los Angeles from 1-3 May 2015. More information here: http://photoindependent.com/photobooks/

A very small number of these 'might' be available around the time of the exhibition of 'Quiet Moments' depending on financial constraints.

A new suite of work for 'Six' is also being prepared. This includes various new active spaces and will be shot over a long period of time. This is more likely to be a book rather than an exhibition.

Christopher Young - Drei: six images from this series will be shown as part of 'Quiet Moments' at Fremantle Art Centre. This will be on from 5 June - 26 July 2015. 

Christopher Young - Small Town: a DCA grant for this project was unsuccessful so this has - again - severely hampered/delayed it's completion. That said, given the Ignite funding, there are only 10 or so images that are yet to be digitised; an essay to be written and editing to be done on the complete text. 

Three routes are possible: the first is to use 'Blurb'. Unfortunately the US dollar is relatively strong so this makes each book prohibitively expensive and any profit margins miniscule. The second route is to locally produce a much shorter run to get the book to 'dummy' level and approach various publishers with it. This is unlikely to prove fruitful but as I've tried just about everything to get this up I don't see what harm it could do! A locally produced version would be expensive but would have a few hand-made gimmicks in it. The third route is to produce a run offshore (Singapore) as was the original idea. The cost/print quality ratio is better on a unit level but I would need to produce at least 250 copies. That makes it a fairly heavy exercise financially.

There are various other things planned but more later!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Alexander Gardner vs Lewis Powell/Payne/Paine

More goodness from the Library of Congress. 

Most would be familiar with the first image made of Lewis Powell - then 21 - by Alexander Gardner. This iconic work is cited by many theorists as being emblematic of many photographic themes. 

Both Barthes and Sontag discuss the image at length. Lesser known are other images made - also by Alexander - of Powell and other conspirators. 

These images add an interesting twist and energy to the rather static, resigned-to-his-fate central image. The larrakin-like profile shot is particularly interesting.

There are also a series of fashion-like images in front of a tent. Some of these were then cropped and made into folk postcards.

Finally, the hanging itself was also photographed, including the aftermath.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

What the animals are up to...

The Original Place #25 (detail)

'The Original Place' (Elisa)
Elisa will be artist-in-residence at the Central Institute of Technology from October 20 to December 6. She will be producing new works for 'The Original Place', engaging with students as well as exhibiting work from the series. The studio is at 149 Beaufort Street, Perth. Please check the website for days/times closer to the date as visitors are welcome.

Ten works from this series were previously exhibited at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins then later at Anita Traverso Gallery in Melbourne. It will be the first time most of the work has been seen in Perth.

Elisa is also a finalist in 2014's City of Joondalup Community Invitation Art Award and will be exhibiting three works from this series. This opens on October 19 and runs until October 31 at Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City, Joondalup.

drei #07/drei #92
'Drei' (Chris)
Six works from this series will be shown as part of a group exhibition titled 'Quiet Moments' at Fremantle Arts Centre from May 2015. The works were last seen as an almost full set at Breadbox Gallery in 2008. Two works that are to be shown weren't in the Breadbox show but rather only in the publication.

Seven #24
'Small Town' (Chris)
In a rare bit of good news for this personally significant series, Artsource/BHP Billiton have agreed to contribute money to help the series move further along through their 'Ignite' programme. This will help a lot and get the work much closer to publication. Unsuccessful exhibition proposals were sent to Fremantle Arts Centre (2013), PICA and CCP (Melbourne). One last proposal has been submitted to Heathcote for late 2015.

Chris has also submitted a DCA grant application for 'Marketing and Distribution'. Results for this round come out in November.

Chris recently gave a talk about 'Small Town' during one of Miik Green's studio nights and it was good to hear people's positive responses to the work.

'Six' (Chris)
Chris has started to produce new images for 'Six' looking at active institutional spaces. Ideas for this are still a bit raw and it is likely to be a long-term project given the logistics involved. He also recently documented many of the objects used in the installation at Subiaco Museum. These objects will form part of a book in early 2015.

To tie-in with the group exhibition at FAC, Chris is hoping to produce a larger book that includes all of the work from 'drei', 'five' and 'six'. This will also include the texts written over the years by various authors about these bodies of work.

Belinda von Mengersen recently wrote an article about Elisa's practice titled: The strange quiet of things misplaced: Craft, material and memory in the work of Elisa Markes-Young. This was published in craft + design enquiry Issue 6, ANU Press and can be read online at www.tinyurl.com/bvmemy

Various other books have been published through blurb with full previews available on their site: http://au.blurb.com/user/store/zebrafactory

Other News
In another attempt to fund 'Small Town', Chris will be showing new work in the 'Black Swan Prize for Heritage', Brookfield Tower, 125 St Georges Terrace, Perth.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

So selfish...

As much as I'm not a fan of the 'real' world, I'm finding that I increasingly go through life in almost complete silence. Admittedly that which we miss is very thin and insubstantial, it is nonetheless a loss in human contact. Any noise is artificial - often horrendous music - or is on the peripheries. That is, other people's conversations, tantrums or laughter.

If I go to a supermarket, I will choose it on the basis of being able to self-serve. I can now pay at the pump of a service station, even self serve at the post office. When all this is added to the self serve playground of the internet, any remaining interactions are very minimal.

This isolation feeds other beasts. This lack of contact means social skills are compromised. We - as others - are very uncomfortable in groups, especially those where we are the 'foreign' and the din of the other is overwhelming.

I often wonder how long it will be before we overcompensate and seek human contact in odd or cringe-worthy ways. Will we start asking people to explain something or direct us, just to have a micro-conversation? If we know where the toothpaste is, will we still ask? Many conversations seem to be tied to consumption so it's increasingly likely that marketers will exploit this loneliness.

Will we over-share in other ways - like this post perhaps? - in order to get attention?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lewis Hine's Newspaper Work

I was showing someone Lewis Hine this morning and it prompted another dig. I tend to get lost in his work, especially reading the associated texts that he penned.

Here a small collection of just his 'Newspaper' work.

You can download large versions of over 5000 images and read their extended captions at the LOC. It's an ideal time to revisit some of this work given newspaper closures and growing social inequality. All are PD, available at print resolution and could be easily curated into a fantastic exhibition.