Starkwhite is pleased to present Hold Together, Fall Apart
by Grant Stevens from 7 July - 2 August.
Grant Stevens is known for his pithy text-based videos exploring vernacular and mass media truisms and recalling advertising, movie trailers and relaxation videos. Stevens trades in clichés, platitudes and stock phrases, but points to their richness, probing the overlap between mass media fictions and everyday reality. While some of his works play on language's slipperiness, others emphasis its hyper-lucidity. Against the backdrop of modern life's impossibly hyperactive schedules, his new works go fishing for personal reflection, self-expression, self-help, new age spirituality and other ways to get a grip.
, one of the new videos presented in the exhibition, a female voice guides the listener through a meditative sequence. As it progresses, the tone shifts from relaxation to seduction and, eventually, to hints of mild contempt. The voiceover is accompanied by an abstract animated form, which progressively morphs from geometric to irregular. Through its subtle shifts in tone and form, the work plays with the relationships between self-help, self-absorption and self-pity. Its verbal and visual references gently suggest a disjunction between internalised thoughts and external realities. In doing so, it also alludes to the ways that desire and doubt can inform quests for inner peace.
Grant Stevens' project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
The artist's recent exhibitions include: What We Had Was Real
(2014), City Gallery, Wellington; Supermassive, LA Louver, Los Angeles (2013); Seriously, Relax
, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney (2012); Burst
, PICA, Perth (2010); Wobbly
, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney (2009); Islands,
Nature Morte, Berlin (2009); Fazed,
Starkwhite, 2009; No Bad Days
, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008); Education, Education
, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney (2007); Cliché and Collusion: Video Works by Grant Stevens
, Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah ((2007); Going Steady
, Starkwhite, Auckland (2007); and The Switch
, Il Ponte Contemporanea, Rome (2007).
He has also been represented in group shows including: It's Timely, Blacktown Arts Centre, Sydney (2014); Desire Lines, ACCA, Melbourne (2013); Bazinga!, Starkwhite, Auckland (2013); Video Contemporary, Sydney Contemporary art fair (2013); Word, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (2009); Some Text Missing, CAST, Hobart (2009); The Leisure Class, the Australian Cinematheque, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (2007); Anne Landa Award, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2006); and 2004: Australian Culture Now, National Gallery of Victoria (2004).
Press release courtesy Starkwhite.