Quiet Collision: Current Practice/Australian Style is a cultural exchange project initiated by and featuring the following six contemporary Australian artists: Charles Anderson, Damiano Bertoli, Marco Fusinato, Simone LeAmon, Elizabeth Pullie and Michael Zavros. Also participating in the project are Australian writer/curators Alison Kubler and Stuart Koop, and Milan based writer/curators Roberto Pinto and Cristina Morozzi. Quiet Collision aims to bring together these artists and writers over a development period of twelve months in which time creative curatorial, artistic collaboration and cultural exchange is the focus. The project will culminate in an exhibition at Association Viafarini and CareOf contemporary art spaces Milan in November 2003. Annexed to the gallery presentations, through the collaborative efforts of Pinto, Morozzi & the artists will be a constellation of discrete artworks & happenings in the City of Milan. The aim of this component is to identify synergies between the artist’s work and ideas, and attempt to position them in spaces, which facilitate further dialogue and possible collaborative futures.
The Australian artists participating in Quiet Collision all share experiences of living and making work in Milan, most have been recipients of the Australia Council’s studio residency at Association Viafarini, and all are possessed of a commitment to cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary dialogue.
Quiet Collision acknowledges the unique cultural and ideological condition of being an Australian and Italian artist/arts worker and the curatorial rationale aims to celebrate this.
Curatorial rationale – the ‘quiet collision’
Quiet Collision aims to introduce the broader artistic, plastic and conceptual concerns of the seven participating artists through the presentation and discussion of their work against notions of order and disciplinary structure.
Quiet Collision looks at the methods by which the seven Australian artists intercept and perform some of the dominant and global concerns of ‘arts practice’. Although each of the seven artists pursues distinctive artistic endeavours they remain diverse in their manner of execution and manifestations. Here, Australian practice is not merely represented or defined through a set of uniquely forming characteristics but appears and is spoken foremost, in relation to content and the modality employed to express it.
Many of the artists in this project employ ‘modes’ of practice which periodically encounter junctions where the order and knowledge from other disciplines lie. A ‘quiet-collision’ with one of the many fields of design practice can consequently contribute such complexity to the initial force that structure itself can morph. Modes of practice which navigate disciplinary structure topologically are accustomed to producing ‘strange’ stuff – the production can be critiqued as fresh, lucid or simply challenging. Similarly, ventures in collaboration undermine the importance that modernism places on authorship and the delineation of roles in relation to input/output. The ‘shape’ of these collisions although figuring throughout art history still present challenges.
Each of the Australian artists participating in the project has steered their practice towards and in the path of a ‘quite-collision’. For artists Charles Anderson and Simone LeAmon the ‘impact’ has lead to the crafting of parallel concerns with the practice of and appearance of design methods while Damiano Bertoli and Michael Zavros focus our attention towards structure itself through the analysis, re-make and reproduction of interior objects, events and image. Marco Fusinato’s practice of in-forming plastic works through the performative limitations of given moments and sound, and Elizabeth Pullie’s manipulation of pattern etymology in relation to cultural heritage and art/design history both manipulate existing theoretical constructs. Collectively, these individuals make work that engages with a larger Australian contemporary art dialogue and their ‘collision’ prefigures an extension of existing rhetorics and the articulation of a new artistic language, its relevance to an international audience.
For all involved the curatorial rationale has provided a point of reference beyond the obvious (all having shared Milano experiences) and created a meaningful forum in view of a collaborative future.