Agatha Gothe-Snape and Wrong Solo’s “Certain Situations”
              Tara McDowell
              Double bill aside, the current exhibition at Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art (IMA) is less a two-person show than a series of tentacular, prismatic relations and encounters that produce more relations, encounters, and situations, per the show’s title. Wrong Solo is an ongoing collaboration between Agatha Gothe-Snape (the ostensible solo artist here) and writer and performer Brian Fuata. Together, they debut a major new work, Five Columns, itself a collaboration with five interlocutors: Sonya Holowell, Ruark Lewis, Sarah Rodigari, Brooke Stamp, and Lizzie Thomson. Five Columns occupies the most space—physically, but also emotionally, kinetically, and acoustically—in the exhibition. The first of its two rooms is an antechamber replicating the Sydney studio the two artists share, in which Five Columns was filmed, including lavender walls and royal blue carpet. Like a set or stage, the room conjures a sense of artificiality as well as propositional emptiness, a vacant staging ground charged with the sensation that something could happen there. Five screens hang in the center of the second room, each presenting a video that captures 10 minutes of a day-long improvisation session featuring Fuata, Gothe-Snape, and one of their five collaborators (or columns) as they move, stretch, talk, walk, engage, disconnect, film ...
              Ian Burn's "London Works"
              Two paintings in Ian Burn’s “London Works” frame the exhibition’s two-year time span, 1965 to 1967—a transformative and immensely productive period in the practice of the Australian conceptual artist, best known as a member of the group Art & Language. Together, these paintings tell a story of oscillation and negotiation between the signifiers and styles of two art worlds: 1960s Melbourne and 1960s London. Burn painted the first before he left Melbourne for London and the second just as he was about to depart London for New York. Figures and Flag, St Kilda (1964) is a Paul Klee-inspired work, featuring playfully scattered thick black lines that recall those painted by the German artist in the early twentieth century, highlighted with fleshy pinks and cool blues that bring to mind seabirds, bare bottoms, and other seaside charms, set in a mustard-yellow field. The painting can be read as abstract, but hints of an outside world persist. This picture also bears the influence of Melbourne’s “Heide Circle,” a group of modernist painters that included artists such as the ostentatious Sidney Nolan, whose Ned Kelly series is a national icon, painted with the black, blues, and ochre later used by Burn. The second ...
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