Paul Knight: L’ombre de ton ombre

Paul Knight: L’ombre de ton ombre

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)

October 9, 2023
Paul Knight
L’ombre de ton ombre
October 7–December 9, 2023
Opening at MUMA: October 7, 3–5pm
Exhibition at UNSW Galleries, Sydney: June 28–September 15, 2024
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Exhibition at PICA: October 26, 2024–January 19, 2025
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Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
900 Dandenong Road
Ground Floor, Building F
Caulfield East Victoria 3145
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–5pm,
Saturday 12–5pm

T +61 3 9905 4217
Instagram (MUMA) / Instagram (UNSW) / Instagram (Pica)

Paul Knight: L’ombre de ton ombre (The shadow of your shadow) is the first major solo exhibition of the Australian-born, Berlin-based artist’s work in Australia. 

The exhibition presents photographic, sculptural and machine learning works that engage the artist’s relationship with his partner Peter as an index of time, invoking the intimate present alongside the deep past and near future. Knight’s ongoing photographic project, Chamber Music, records the life they have shared since 2009. The series reveals glimpses into the domestic space of their relationship, with images created through varying degrees of pre-meditation and chance; often the camera timer is set so that it simply captures what it sees.

While the artist’s relationship provides the material for Chamber Music, Knight’s hand-loomed bedsheets weave other stories into their fabric. Pursuing research into various measures of time, both scientific and narrative, Knight is fascinated by the hypothesis concerning the gravitational influence of a binary star system that triggered periodic meteor impacts on Earth and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and rise of mammals. Geologically this event is recorded in the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary as taking place sixty-five million years ago and Knight takes comfort in humanity being simply another subsequent organisation of matter occupying only a slim chapter of this deep geological time. His textile works reference, through their combination of minimal colour and abstract compositions, the atmosphere of a binary star system and the conceptually and physically intimate measure between two bodies.

Alongside these photographic works and textile installations, Knight’s work Naked Souls, co-commissioned by MUMA, UNSW Galleries and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts engages machine learning technology to unfold a conversation between two chatbots in the gallery. Trained with a pre-existing archive consisting of every text message sent between the artist and his partner Peter in the first few years of their relationship, visitors will witness the bots communicating with each other for the duration of the exhibition—their dialogue evolving from the raw material of banal ‘everyday’ exchanges to the intensity of a forming relationship with its hunger for real physical contact. As Knight says, ‘perhaps the most complex and entangled of all human processing and response is the data generated by human love.’

L’ombre de ton ombre is co-commissioned by MUMA and UNSW Galleries, Sydney, and will travel to Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Check MUMA’s website for accessibility information.

The exhibition is accompanied by a monograph co-published by MUMA, UNSW Galleries and Perimeter Books, which includes new texts by the artist, José Da Silva and Pip Wallis, Anthony Gardner, Katie Mack, and Oxana Timofeeva.

About the artist
Paul Knight was born in 1976 in New South Wales. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Photography at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne and a Master of Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art. He was awarded an Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship in 2007 and selected for the UK’s Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2009. The following year he was awarded the London studio residency by the Australia Council for the Arts and has been based in Europe since then, currently living in Berlin.

Knight’s recent solo exhibitions include: Counterfeits, Neon Parc, Melbourne, 2019; and Paul Knight, Lauwer, Rotterdam, 2018. Recent group exhibitions include: Pliable Planes: Expanded Textile & Fibre Practices, UNSW Galleries, Sydney, 2022; Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2021; Direkt Auttion, Monopol, Berlin, 2021; Anywhere but here, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2020; Der Bote ist der Tote, Vienna, 2020, and Hauswerk: The Bauhaus in Contemporary Art, McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Australia, 2019. Paul Knight is represented by Neon Parc Gallery, Melbourne. 

Media inquiries
Monash University Museum of Art,
Magda Petkoff, Purple Media / UNSW Galleries, José Da Silva / PICA, Hannah Mathews.

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Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
October 9, 2023

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