Alex Gawronski - Wreckrospective 1

Alex Gawronski -Wreckrospective 3

Alex Gawronski -Wreckrospective 4

Alex Gawronski -Wreckrospective 5

Alex Gawronski: Wreckrospective, 2016

(Installation consisting of various artworks 1998 – 2016)

55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville, NSW, Sydney

From the exhibition ‘Piles’ with Jelena Telecki and Jasmine Guffond

The barricade is an offensive/defensive form usually constructed from whatever detritus is lying to hand. The barricade – composed of the everyday rendered revolutionary – creates a border for those who defend their position against attack while attacking.

In the gallery there are no borders just space. But space hides invisible barriers. This barrier separates the inside, the autonomous space of the art event, from the external world of complex, random, as well as banal, occurrences. Art has questioned this separation numerously. But art is not life as much as it is attached to it. The framework ‘art’ always precedes any claims made within an art context to embrace ‘real’ life directly. This is both a strength and weakness of art. It is a strength because it allows art to proceed as discourse about art, its histories, methods, philosophical orientations and contemporary possibilities. It is a weakness because art is ever impacted simultaneously by the reality of external, often pressing, political, social and economic circumstances.

This means that art objects, commodified or not, always exist to some extent as refuse, leftovers, remnants, as remainder, as ‘stuff’. This stuff is like the stuff used to erect barricades; everyday things redeployed in extraordinary circumstances to function entirely differently. Art robs everyday objects of their mundanity to transform them into other things.

The barricade composed of art testifies on one hand to the uselessness of art as well as the class-based pretensions of art’s presumed preciousness. On the other hand it exemplifies art’s capacity to delineate that which is worth fighting for. Art’s active transformative capacity actively realised in its thinking, is rendered inert by the dead weight of things. That is insofar as things are perceived predominantly as consumable. Like Benjamin’s reference to Klee’s ‘Angel of History’, the artist is swept into the future at times backwards. The artist sees the products of their labour, like the consequences of history, pile up before their eyes. The future is what is (re-) made from these piles.

Written by alex gawronski

April 17, 2017 at 10:07 PM