IN THE RUINS I SEE THE FUTURE
12 May 2023 - 9 July 2023
Artist(s): Adina Kraus, Claire Bridge, Hugh Crowley, Joseph Häxan, Karina Utomo, Michael Jalaru Torres, Michael Needham, and Ryan Andrew Lee
Location: Main Gallery
This exhibition imagines the potential for new worlds through the collapse of our present one.
Set against the backdrop of our current world with its pervasive crises and perpetual catastrophes—such as capitalism, colonialism, industrialization, globalization, and individualism—the featured artists engage in processes of looking backward to see forward. Exploring powerful themes such as death ceremonies, ancestral voice, and religious and cultural ritual, the artworks in this exhibition each converge in a space that is pregnant with oracular visions and numinous sounds.
This exhibition reveals that activist and anarchist practice can be a powerful form of adaptive and ethical re-ordering of social structures, leading to the abandonment of existing hierarchies. Through this, the ruinous terrains showcased throughout the exhibition acknowledge iconoclasm as potent gesture toward healing and regrowth.
IN THE RUINS I SEE THE FUTURE offers a communal gaze that divines a future both seemingly doomed and auspiciously glimmering; it offers a thought-provoking and immersive experience that invites the viewer to reflect on the present, imagine new possibilities, and find hope amidst the ruins.
Adina Kraus is an anti-disciplinary and hybrid modality artist currently working out of Naarm, Melbourne. She graduated from a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2021 and has recently just graduated Honours in 2022. She is continuously seeking out new ways to shatter paradigms, bend institutions and art making processors through material dialogues and performance.
Adina’s practice somewhat embodies a pilgrimage, returning to an ancient cultural lineage of Kabbalah’s secrets, deciphering primordial chaos and materializing these esoteric concepts, presenting them as new forms and opening them up to critiques. Adina’s interest lives within the notion of the Nothingness, returning to our natural curiosity and human wonder.
Claire Bridge is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes sculpture, moving image, sound, and painting. Her sculptural ceramics enmesh the monstrous, visceral, and psychological with exuberant colour and excess. Bridge's work explores the body as material, polyphonic voice and kaleidoscopic, relational multiplicities within culturally and contextually rooted ecosystems. She incorporates personal biographies and cross-cultural mythologies of death, decay, ritual and regeneration into chimeric conglomerations of hybrid beings. Informed by scientific and ecological concerns and her mixed Anglo-Indian-Australian heritage, Bridge's sculptures possess a strangeness and glamour which disturb, seduce and intrigue.
Claire Bridge is included in Melbourne Now 2023 at the National Gallery of Victoria, NGV Australia.
Her work is held in public and private collections including Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery, the Honorary Consulate of Monaco, collections across Australia and New Zealand, USA, UK and Europe, and The Peregrine Collection, The Moon.
Born in Canberra/Ngunnawal/Ngambri, Hugh Crowley is an artist living and working in Melbourne/Naarm. Crowley attained his BFA at The Victorian College of the Arts majoring in sculpture and his graduate work Cruising Utopia won the Fiona Myer Award. His practice speaks in code, using objects instead of words to create poems. His work introspectively considers themes of queerness and desire. Whilst utilising a varying range of materials to contextualise his work, Hugh's practice shows a refinement in centrifugal casting.
Joseph Häxan is a contemporary photo/video composite artist working with themes including evolution, rites and ritual, and the borders we draw between ourselves and what we identify as the 'natural world'. Joseph uses his own body as model, digitally replicating it to produce compositions alluding to humanity’s animalism, evolution and the search for meaning.
Karina Utomo is an extreme metal vocalist, composer and co-founder of extreme metal projects Rinuwat, KILAT and High Tension. Karina’s vocal practice explores multi-disciplinary forms of extreme-metal, experimental cross-cultural practices and extra-normal voicing. Aspects of Karina’s practice are informed by and interwoven with Javanese mythology and storytelling.
Karina’s compositional practice explores the duality of intergenerational trauma and power, and tensions between tradition and rebellion. She has collaborated extensively with artists in Australia and internationally across a broad range of industrial, avant-garde improvisation, grindcore and black metal genres in numerous forms and settings.
Michael Jalaru Torres
Michael is an Indigenous photographer and media professional from Broome, Western Australia. As a Djugan and Yawuru man with tribal connections to Jabirr Jabirr and Gooniyandi people, he is inspired by the unique landscapes and people of the Kimberley region, which feature prominently in his work. His photographs draw upon his own stories and personal history, whilst exploring contemporary social and political issues facing Indigenous people and Country.
Michael Needham lives and works in Kyneton and Melbourne on Taungurung and Wurundjeri Country. His creative practice fuses drawing, object-making and sculptural installation made in response to specific sites and cultural contexts. Exploring myth, belief and residual melancholia in the contemporary psyche, Michael’s work focuses on uncanny sensibilities around mimicry and memorialisation often channeling remnants of corporeality no longer present, mimicking familiar historical forms in unfamiliar contexts as a form of reflective critique. Michael has shown nationally and internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions. He has a Bachelor of Fine Art (+Hons) from Monash University (2002), and PhD (Fine Art) from the Australian Catholic University (2010).
Ryan Andrew Lee
Ryan Andrew Lee is a conceptual new media artist whose practice explores alternative ontologies and epistemologies which are strongly informed by First Nations people and community. His work employs experimental film-making processes including cinema vérité and slow cinema to present contemplative observations on contemporary environmental and socio-political issues. Ryan's work explores interdisciplinary thematics of psychogeography, deep topography and landscapism to suggest deeper sense and perception of place in order to restore and preserve ecological, historical and cultural knowledge and values. Across his practice, Ryan strives to create works that resonate a deeper level of consciousness with the intent to unify all things. Ryan holds a BMA (Digital Media) from the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts and has exhibited at numerous galleries and festivals across Australia and the world.
The opening night will be held on Friday, 12 May, 6 - 8pm at Incinerator Gallery alongside exhibitions Who’s afraid? by Emilie Syme-Lamont & Safak Gurboga and The Machine is Working by Yvette James.
Thursday, 18 May, from 11am
Join curator Jake Treacy for an in-depth exploration of the exhibition IN THE RUINS I SEE THE FUTURE. This talk will traverse ideas constellating the artworks, whilst unearthing themes within the exhibition including death ceremonies, oracles, and the power of iconoclasm.
Artist Talk and Performance
Sunday, 4 June, from 2-4pm
Join artists as they discuss their artworks from the exhibition IN THE RUINS I SEE THE FUTURE. This event will offer audiences an opportunity to hear directly from the artists as they deep-dive into their practices through the themes of the exhibition including dissolution, ritual and reworlding.
Following the talk, a performance by exhibiting artist Adina Kraus and her goddaughter Little will will re-visit the primordial ring of chaos which surrounded prior to creation. Here, the Kabbalah explains the power of the word, whether written, carved or spoken.
The performance will cross borders between knowledge and understanding, connecting source and soil, together the artist and child investigate the ultimate border crossing into the Nothingness.
Free. Bookings not required.
Performance: Mortal Voice
Saturday, 1 July
Arrive 2pm for a 2.30pm performance
Join artist Karina Utomo for an improvised performance colliding between extreme-metal and extra-normal cross-cultural voicing in response to her work Mortal Voice (2022). Karina’s compositional practice explores the duality of intergenerational trauma and power, and tensions between tradition and rebellion.
- Tickets are essential for entry as there is limited seating capacity
- This performance features loud noise
- We will do our best to accommodate standing room for visitors without a ticket