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Exhibition 22 March - 13 April 2013 (extended)
Skalitzers Contemporary Art presents Dissolve
by acclaimed Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils.
In his first exhibition in Australia, following shows in Europe and China in 2012, Vhils presents his first body of work in Australia.
continues the visual narrative the artist has been developing since starting the Scratching the Surface series in 2007. The premise behind this series is the act of working with the city itself as the prime material, focusing on the relationship between the individual and his surrounding environment.
Fascinated by a certain nostalgia engendered by natural decay, Vhils explores the ephemeral nature that underlies all things but also questions the need for promoting change for the sake of change, development for the sake of development, regardless of the social, cultural and historical heritage razed in its wake. His work reflects not only upon the violence inherent to the changes brought on by excessive, unnecessary development - a notion he explores by resorting to practices that emphasise the act of creating through destructive means - but also its consequences, destroying what he sees as an essential composite of personal, cultural and historical layers. This key concept in Vhils' work sees him delving into the strata of the past like an archaeologist, bringing to light certain essential elements which he fears may have been lost along the course of time: a notion of purity, a more humanised dimension of life.
offers a reflection on the ever growing uniform character of cities around the world and their inhabitants, but also on the cycle of consumption and waste inherent to the dominant model of development, and the safeguard of the people who lie at the heart of this transformation.
Vhils' interventions on walls, posters, wood, metal and other surfaces all speak of the same reality, sharing with the viewer a complicit look into the premises behind individual and collective identity, into the dichotomies of hand-made and mass-produced, tradition and modernity, conservation and destruction, and the notions of urbanisation, development, consumerism and waste.
, the portraits of ordinary citizens cut into the layers of advertisement posters are cluttered with graphic elements, patterns, commercial lettering, images and compositions which express the dazzling visual stimuli present in the city, imprinting the overpowering desires of materiality and consumption which paradoxically help dissolve the very essence of our individual uniqueness.
Based on a text by Miguel Moore, March 2013
Working with a range of materials across public and private space, Vhils has also left his mark on Sydney, with a new public work in the Rocks depicting urban and environmental activist Jack Mundey, responsible for the 70s Green Bans in Sydney which lead to the preservation of over 40 historic buildings and public spaces.
Berlin-based Skalitzers' first Sydney exhibition is presented in conjunction with Art Month Sydney and The Rocks Popup, with support from Fort Street Advisers, Circada Press/ COFA, Fromage La Rue, Elizabeths Bookshops and the Portuguese Embassy in Australia. Drinks kindly provided by Cake Wines and Batlow Cider.
140 George St, The Rocks
West Circular Quay
Gallery hours Mon-Sun 11-6pm
+61 468 371261