1 April – 10 May 2020

Dani Dodge
Tom Dunn
Roni Feldman
Sean Noyce
Max Presneill

Return to Aus - group exhibition

The title of the exhibition of Los Angeles artists reflects its basis in several approaches at once. In an immediate way, it tells us of the desire of the artists of the Durden and Ray collective to again present themselves in an Australian context as physical reality, to establish a link between Sydney and Los Angeles. But it also places the artists in relation to the celebrated movie version of The Wizard of OZ and its sequels. In doing so the artists recognize that the visual sumptuousness of the film tracks their own fully visual approach to art-making, but with the significant caveat, seen in the books and the sequels to the famous movie, that there is a dark sub-conscious side that threatens.

In Sigmund Freud’s model of the psyche, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories (the Lion), the super-ego (the Tinman) operates as a moral conscience, and the ego (the Scarecrow) is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego and often creates order out of the chaos. The artists presented in Return to Aus explore that dark desire, of powerlessness and fear, of our mortality, of control by others, of the magical and the chaotic, and ultimately of order and hope.

In this exhibition, Feldman displays dreamy paintings that vacillate between abstraction and representation depending on the lighting. They require viewers to move about and look in a contemplative meditative way, momentarily putting aside the ego.

Presneill’s violent and chaotic fight between id and ego on the canvas plays out in a bright pallet of frenzied passion, which is erased and moderated by the superego only to appear again: the tracks of which are always evident in the finished works. Noyce’s paintings require the viewer’s acceptance of the mystical in order to give them power — the ultimate subjective leap.

The imagery in Dunn’s paintings develop from the sexual subconscious and reflects aspects of ceremony, ritual and religious art.

Dodge’s photos on canvas document a paroxysm of grief over the death of her husband in which she spray-painted quotes about relationships and sex on discarded mattress she found throughout the city of LA.

Together the artists explore, in myriad ways, the internal conflicts inherent in the
human condition.

Installation images by Docqment