Lyndell Brown and Charles Green's extensive practice has long been informed by the nature of memory and an investigation of how events intersect with the legacy of the past and with art history to inform our experience of identity, place and landscape.
In their latest exhibition at ARC ONE, The Far Country, the artists speak to the contemporary condition of turbulence by mapping images across continents and centuries. Drawing on psychedelic anthropologist Carlos Castaneda's book, The Eagle's Gift (1981), which turned the depiction of a shaman's mentorship into the superimposed juxtaposition of networked times, spaces and narratives, this exhibition explores the ways in which memory attracts pathos and how single images derive from the virtual recollection of a panorama of events unfolding in time. Narrative is a decoy.
In these fifteen new works, images from different contexts and timeframes—sourced from the artists' encounters with museums and research centres, from books, journals, postcards, electronic media, as well as their own personal travel photographs and family archives—are exquisitely re-created, layered, and collaged to form new, woven realities that trigger new memories and old meanings. References ranging from Gerhard Richter's painting of 9/11, a pair of now vanishing Gouldian Finches, a ship carrying young Australian soldiers to war in 1941, a snapshot taken by Green's father during the bombing of Darwin in 1941, refugees fleeing across high Kurdish mountains, and a photograph taken by the artists in 2014 at Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, Timor-Leste, recording the site of a massacre, all float in meticulously painted, superimposed trompe l'oeil. Deliberately difficult to read as narrative, this flow of information and images presents us with the beauty of the physical world and human forces that collide against it. The artists' personal memories are juxtaposed with contemporary and historical images of conscience and humanitarianism, exploring the way in which our experience frays alongside collective memory. In The Far Country, Brown and Green, create new resonances between spaces, times, histories and memory. They note that to move forward, we must constantly concentrate on peripheral vision, but then we may turn into phantoms, become invisible and fly across shimmering spaces and times.
Press release courtesy Arc One Gallery.