Tony Curran: Die Sektions
E3 art space: 6 - 16 September
Tony Curran, Getting to know you, 2010, and Getting closer, 2011, acrylic ink on glass
Describing another person is an act of cutting them up into fragments to represent their different qualities. Throughout history the human condition has been dissected in art, science and philosophy in an attempt to understand who we are and what it means to be a self.
Die Sektions is an experiment with the aim to understand the relationship between the various slices or fragments that make us a coherent self. It has been produced as part of the artist's PhD research exploring the notion of self and the role of self in contemporary visual art. It responds to a variety of changes in how concepts of self have been dissected, represented and reconstructed.
As a survey of recent work by Tony Curran, Die Sektions features drawings, paintings, photographs and video installation in a manner that invites the viewer's own sense of self; spatially, mentally and socially. Read as 'Dissections' the exhibition title literally translates from German as 'The Sections'. With this double meaning the exhibition reflects how representations of people can be considered objectifying or even violent, positioning the subject as a powerless figure under the scrutiny of the observer.
Some of the works have been produced with the direct participation of the Wagga Wagga public from Curran's residency project, Identify, Identity, Identikit, hosted by the Museum of the Riverina earlier this year. During this residency, members of the public were invited to sit for the artist while he drew sections of their face - their eyebrows, eyes, noses or lips and a database of facial features was produced. From these a series of works have been made, rearranging the facial features to produce composite faces that express and project rich emotional lives and histories.
Through his work Tony Curran explores the complexity of individual identity. His works are attempts to expose different sides of the self, playing with how we read the face, how we attempt to get to know another person and the role that images play in these processes.