This week sees The Pool Collective Redux exhibition, a collection to reflect and celebrate the work produced for the Pool Collective iPad magazine. It also affords us the opportunity to launch Issue 05 – the biggest and best edition yet!
Leading us into the latest edition is Ingvar Kenne, with an ongoing project, Walking Further. Eschewing words and prescriptive thematic devices, Kenne’s aim is to concentrate on the image alone. "The only agenda is the photography…looking at the result of that which is photographed and nothing else".
There is a similarly uncompromising aesthetic sense in the next collection we arrive at, Danny Eastwood’s Surface Tension. The calming, human landscapes form their own world in this simple study of isolated islands of skin, flesh and bone rising through a motionless meniscus.
Reprising a recurrent theme of bordering landscapes, perhaps most noticeably in his work for POOL’s last show, Private View, the concerns are never far from Eastwood’s mind, "I've always been interested in where things meet – edges, borders, transitions. Surface Tension deliberately blurs a boundary, rendering the familiar more abstract".
From landscapes to portrait, and Simon Harsent’s study of extraordinary Tasmanian artist, Brigita Ozolins. Directly referencing the literary, scholarly nature of this artist’s work, Harsent’s striking and intriguing photographs are accompanied by the artist’s wonderfully warm and open responses to our incessant questioning.
In stark contrast, Juliet Taylor’s documentary piece looking at the seedy side of Paris’ nightlife concentrates on the transformation of the Bois de Boulogne to the boudoir de Paris.
"I lived in Paris throughout 2009, I remembered seeing these white vans that lined the edges of the road at night and wondered what was going on there. On my last trip in September, I asked a friend what they were and they told me the stories of the prostitutes that work from the vans. It sparked excitement in me and I wanted to explore this further with my camera. I was warned to be aware of the pimps and told that the prostitutes carry weapons so to be super careful".
And indeed, while the smiles and postured poses distract, no amount of cosmetic cover-up can completely hide the charged background notes of unease and fear in these photographs.
In an editorial first for POOL, we handed over the reigns for our next piece Who Is the real Ethan H. Minsker? to… well, Ethan H. Minsker. You may not have heard of him, but he’s a direct action artist and founding member of the Antogaonist Art Movement. Who better to explain than the artist himself? No one, so that’s what we let him do. At the heart of this piece are Simon Harsent’s enigmatic portraits, full of the humour and spirit that defines the subject.
"For most artists, life means a solitary existence. But there is power in building a community of like-minded individuals. The Antagonist Art Movement is a social art movement. It’s the connections and friendships developed over our art projects that give us strength, and the network that allows us to tap a larger pool of opportunities".
And the subjects are at the heart of the next collections as well. First, Sean Izzard’s look at one of the most recognizable people in the world, the Dalai Lama shows an unguarded, human side to a figure thought by many to be something more – as the photographer infers from the experience, ‘The circus around the Dalai Lama is quite amazing. He seems blissfully unaware (but in a very non-Buddhist sense) his security are omnipresent. However, once you get closer to the man, you feel his aura.’ And while a photograph might not be able to capture an aura, the best manage to hold those wonderfully human moments that this collection has in spades.
It would be easy to see the video piece as the star of Christopher Ireland’s Alchemy of Fire but, in truth, the stills, the film and the carefully crafted words of the artist Craig Fynmore all combine to create a compelling, fascinating and truly beautiful document of the process of creation that is, at the same time both reverent and free-spirited, reflecting, one suspects, the spirit of the artist.
"When Craig Fynmore told me he was burning his work of art, I was set on filming it, so he had both a record of the event, and an extra medium of art (video installation) through which he could exhibit his final work. I was quite focused on execution - on achieving an outcome. The eventuating legacy of the exercise though was to never lose sight of process. Processes are more fundamental than outcomes. The burning itself is not necessarily the focal point of this film, rather it's the process of wanting to make something, alter it and leave a lasting impression. The question why is more interesting than the answer how. In the end it matters little what final form the work takes, which is why it's reveal is so low key. My joy from making this documentary has been unexpectedly profound, as has been the application of the creative lessons I've since applied in my own endeavour".
And then to the end as we exit the issue through the White Cube, Simon Harsent’s latest project dealing with the notion of small change in a wider context. This is a rhythmic, almost musical collection that never misses a beat while remaining unpredictable and engaging throughout.
A teaser if you’re going, a taste of what you’re missing if you can’t make it. Either way, go to the app store, download and dive in to the POOL.
We hope you like it.
THE POOL COLLECTIVE REDUX:
An exhibition showcasing the artwork from Issue 01 - 05
Opening night - Thursday 5 December
6.00 - 8.00pm
Black Eye gallery
138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
Please make sure you RSVP to the event as there will be a door list.