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Symptoms of Failure


Symptoms of Failure Curated by Del Lumanta –

This project is presented through the Firstdraft Mini-Festival Program

– 1 Introduction 2 Isobel Parker Philip 6 Del Lumanta 8 Daryl Prondoso 12 Nina Buchanan 15 Amateur Childbirth, Heat Haze, Kell Derrig-Hall, Exotic Dog 16 Stuart Bailey


To identify with failure and/or to associate oneself with failure means that one has taken a position of dissatisfaction. Symptoms of Failure aims to examine the warning signs that precipitate failure within the practice of art and the art world. In their approach to these signals, the featured artists and musicians share a dissatisfaction and cynicism towards aspects in the realm of creative practice. Despite identifying conditions of frustration, boredom/apathy and dubious value, each are persistent in their input to a variety of creative endeavours – from the showing of works, to the contributions of writing, designing and teaching. The curator has invited the sometimes difficult, strange and beautiful musicians Amateur Childbirth (Brisbane), Heat Haze, Kell Derrig-Hall and Exotic Dog to perform in the gallery space. On the 20th of February, 2014 the invited musicians performed at the launch of experimental songwriter Amateur Childbirth’s second LP ‘Pripyat’. It was held in a community run venue in Marrickville, Sydney. Only nine people attended the event despite the efforts of those involved. As the night progressed we all began to feel disappointed and unsure as to why the evening was so poorly attended. The restaging of the event allows us to ask questions about the environments surrounding practice and enables us to draw parallels between the ways in which the artists and musicians navigate them. Symptoms of Failure hopes to lay bare the complexities of practice and to look beyond conventional ways of thinking about the relationship between failure and art e.g. art as failure and failure as art. Rather than accept this relationship, it is the intention of each artist to antagonise it. In doing so, they can begin to deconstruct why ‘failure’ is a term and descriptor that is so easily and readily applied to art. To close the exhibition dystopian pop duo Video Ezy will perform.


No never mind

No, not ‘no, never mind.’

‘no never mind’

Not a refutation or a negation — a dismissal. But a simple statement of facts. No never mind | to turn a blind eye.

to pay no heed / to pass over /

A double negative. The photographs are portraits of a flickering light. Segments of previously developed 35mm film negatives are fed through a small toy projector from the 1950s. The projector operates like a wind up toy; the tiny animated cartoons – inscribed on strips of celluloid – are powered by a very simple clockwork motor. Using my own negatives I reroute this animation. I work against clockwork. I pull the film through, I guide the light. A second image is taken. A photograph of a photograph. The light passing through the photographic film falls on a distorted surface — Fractured and isolated by the lens of the projector, the image is thrown onto the uneven folds of draped fabric. An unstable topography.


These are images of a photographic ‘event’. The photographic fragments embedded in the secondary photographs (the photographs in the photographs) are not fixed. They are not bound to the surfaces they caress. They float free — they move; animated. But ‘photographs of photographs’ is a misleading phrase. In this work I haven’t used pre-existing analogue images, I’ve used the totally over exposed portion of film at the beginning of the roll. A black band: a dead space. // So really they’re photographs of non-photographs. A double negative. // The segment of film used to produce these images appears alongside them. Interred behind glass. No longer animated. If you look closely you can see two lines etched into the surface of the negative. One bends away from the other. I drew these lines with a pin. They were an attempt to cut through that dead zone. To pierce its darkness. To intrude on that blind spot (to make the blind eye blink). My hand shook. You can see the marks in some of the images. …


Why pull an image out of dead space? Why flirt with a dead end? These photographs are self-reflexive. They are consumed by their status as photographs. They are absorbed by a mirror that projects their visage ad infinitum. Trapped in a loop of material specificity. A mise-en-abîme. An echo that won’t die because it perpetuates itself. What good is all this? The projector still turns, the animation endures. It won’t stop. (I can’t stop?) The image continues to float even if it has nothing to hold on to. Untethered / unhinged


04•04•2014


26•04•2014


symptoms of failure 30/04/14 – 23/05/14 – this project is presented through the firstdraft mini-festival program.

isobel parker philip stuart bailey nina buchanan daryl prondoso curated by del lumanta

amateur childbirth heat haze kell derrig-hall exotic dog video ez y firstdraft, gallery 3 13-17 riley street woolloomooloo, nsw 2011 (enter via haig lane) firstdraft.org.au

firstdraft is supported by the nsw government through arts nsw this project has been assisted by the australian government through the australia council, its arts funding and advisory body


Symptoms Of Failure  

Symptoms of Failure Curated by Del Lumanta This project is presented through the Firstdraft Mini-Festival Program Stuart Bailey Nina Buchan...

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