Rise

Tony Schwensen

Exhibition Dates
19 July - 11 August 2007

Tony Schwensen presented Rise a hundred hour meditation on stupidity, nationalism, delusionism, the devaluing of manual labour in the Western world both socially and financially, and the rampant and thoughtless consumption that has accompanied it with particular attention to its manifestations in contemporary Australia.

Overview

Tony Schwensen presented Rise a hundred hour meditation on stupidity, nationalism, delusionism, the devaluing of manual labour in the Western world both socially and financially, and the rampant and thoughtless consumption that has accompanied it with particular attention to its manifestations in contemporary Australia.

 

Central to the project was a quote from Samuel Beckett, whose oeuvre has continuously informed Tony Schwensen's artistic investigations. Beckett was asked along with a number of global intellectuals to contribute his hopes and resolutions for the new year to a journal for publication. His reply "Hopes None Resolutions None" will be installed as wall text over the course of the performance, along with the slogan "Love it or Leave it".

 

Through a layered combination of continuous performance activities such as manual and automated water desalination, self directed psychological operations, and wall painting over one hundred hours, Tony Schwensen investigated the individual cost of and futility in attempting to live a self proficient life in a centralised society.

 

Aftermath provided a critical and public focus to the complex relationship of performance and installation art, sharing a genealogy, as they do, in early conceptual and post-object art. Aftermath centred on the ‘aftermath' of performance, or conversely, performance as a strategy for creation of material environments - the bleeding back and forth of active models of performance and its post-life.

 

Over six weeks one of six artists participating from Australia and abroad undertook a performance work in one of the Artspace galleries resulting in the installation ‘aftermath' and collectively creating a dynamic, rolling set of relationships between changing spaces. This program was completed by two discrete performance works by local artists. The project was also accompanied by a set of screenings of international performance documentation in the Artspace Reading Room and a Symposium held at CarriageWorks on Saturday 18 August, 2007.

Tony Schwensen, 'Rise', performance documentation, Artspace, Sydney, 2007