The Curtain Breathed Deeply

Justene Williams

Current Exhibition 

Bega Valley Regional Gallery, NSW
1 December 2017 - 28 January 2018




  • Justene Williams, 'Given That / You put a spell on mine/ Uterus', 1993 Ford Falcon Utility vehicle; steel, wood, paint; 12 fluorescent lights; freezer, car battery, 12 volt car lights; bar fridge; 5 channel HD video installation (L to R) 'Hairy Cunt Ball 1', 12 minutes 52 seconds; 'You put a spell on mine', 12 minutes 36 seconds; 'Bangle', 15 minutes 31 seconds, 'Given That', 9 minutes 52 seconds; 'Hairy Cunt Ball 2', 13 minutes 59 seconds. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'Given That / You put a spell on mine/ Uterus', 1993 Ford Falcon Utility vehicle; steel, wood, paint; 12 fluorescent lights; freezer, car battery, 12 volt car lights; bar fridge; 5 channel HD video installation (L to R) 'Hairy Cunt Ball 1', 12 minutes 52 seconds; 'You put a spell on mine', 12 minutes 36 seconds; 'Bangle', 15 minutes 31 seconds, 'Given That', 9 minutes 52 seconds; 'Hairy Cunt Ball 2', 13 minutes 59 seconds. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'Yves Klein Eyes', 2 channel HD video diptych, (L to R) 'Blame it on the rain', 9 minutes, 37 seconds; 'Owls', 4 minutes 54 seconds. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'Assisted performance sculpture', paint, wood, tape, plastic, rope, 12 owls, bessa block, hat, cardboard. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'The Joy of Life after Matisse/Madonna/Marcel', Assorted foam cuts; astro turf, tape, foam core, paper, paint; 3 channel HD video; (L to R) 'Matisse', 9 minutes 55 seconds; 'Madonna', 10 minutes 5 seconds; 'Marcel', 10 minutes 10 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney.

  • Justene Williams, 'The Joy of Life after Matisse/Madonna/Marcel', Assorted foam cuts; astro turf, tape, foam core, paper, paint; 3 channel HD video; (L to R) 'Matisse', 9 minutes 55 seconds; 'Madonna', 10 minutes 5 seconds; 'Marcel', 10 minutes 10 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney.

  • Justene Williams, 'Assisted performance sculpture', paint, wood, tape, plastic, rope, 12 owls, bessa block, hat, cardboard. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'Assisted performance relics', above-ground pool, pump, assorted coins, timber, rope, string, wigs, cloth flowers, tape cardboard. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'Assisted performance relics', above-ground pool, pump, assorted coins, timber, rope, string, wigs, cloth flowers, tape cardboard. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'In advance of a broken wing', 2 channel HD videos; (L to R) Alien animal, 11 minutes 46 seconds; Hunter, 11 minutes 9 seconds, Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

  • Justene Williams, 'A Ceremonial Hat worn for eating finger cheese', custom-built garage, roller door, corrugated plastic roofing; 14 CRT televisions, 7-channel video, varying durations, looped; found couch, painted rug. Installation view, 'The Curtain Breathed Deeply'. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney

Overview

The Curtain Breathed Deeply is an expansive new commission by Sydney-based artist Justene Williams. The exhibition will transform the entirety of the Artspace galleries into a determinedly chaotic, immersive and inter-related sequence of installations. Her largest and most ambitious undertaking to date, The Curtain Breathed Deeply will seduce visitors into and through a spectrum of hypnotising sets and video installations abounding in sensory overload and cacophony. 

 

In The Curtain Breathed Deeply Williams melds references from art history – Picasso, Leger and Kahlo – with a range of everyday pop cultural influences including hip hop music, Milli Vanilli and A Chorus Line. In a series of choreographed performative videos the artist blends together references drawing on rituals of Shamanism, Voodooism and Modernist primitivism. Williams amasses together a collection of visual and aural curiosities through a wealth of patterns, colours, textures and tonalities, many of which draw from the artist’s own childhood. Calling upon memories of her father’s wrecking yard, her childhood training in dance, and her experiences constructing elaborate retail window displays, Williams uses found objects and waste materials to create dazzling theatrical environments.    

About the artist

Justene Williams (lives and works in Sydney) has exhibited widely throughout Australia and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions include:  Handbag Hammer Meditation, La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Montréal, 2013; Static Ballet, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, 2013; She came over signing like a drainpipe shaking spoon infused mixers, a public work for Christchurch Art Gallery, 2013; Turnstile Heaped on Pour Down, St Paul St Gallery, AUT Auckland University, 2012; and BIGHEAD GARBAGEFACE GUARDS GHOST DERR SONATA, Contemporary Project Space, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009.  Selected group exhibitions include: Playtime, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2013; We used to talk about love, Balnaves Contemporary: Photomedia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2013; Contemporary Australia: Women, Gallery of Modern Art | Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 2012; New11, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2011; Short Sharp Shocks, Barbican, London, 2011; and Adelaide Biennial, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2010. Her work is held in numerous collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.  She is represented by Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney. 

Dates


Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, WA
16 September - 30 October 2016



Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, WA
19 November 2016 - 22 January 2017



Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, NT
10 February 2017 - 26 March 2017



Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, NSW
26 May 2017 - 8 July 2017



Griffith Regional Art Gallery, NSW
28 July 2017 - 17 September 2017



Ipswich Art Gallery, QLD
7 October 2017 - 29 October 2017



Bega Valley Regional Gallery, NSW
1 December 2017 - 28 January 2018



Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW
9 February 2018 - 25 March 2018



Lismore Regional Gallery, NSW
7 April 2018 - 27 May 2018



Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, NSW
28 August 2018 – 26 November 2018



The generous bequest of the Catalyst: Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission has enabled Artspace to support Williams in the production of this forthcoming major new work at a pivotal moment in her career. The artist has been working in a dedicated Artspace studio on the production of this significant commission since early 2014. Artspace in collaboration with Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) will produce an artist monograph on her work in 2015 as a part of the commission.