American Corner

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Alex Munt: American Corner, 2014
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American Corner (2014) Site-specific Installation: timber; fibreboard; paint; vinyl. 2300 x 1620 x 2100 mm. Photographic, 65 x 80 cm. In the novel Remainder by Tom McCarthy the unnamed protagonist re-enacts past moments, and feelings, with precision. Its a costly and time-consuming exercise but one driven by the desire to inhabit the world `authentically. He has a fondness for right angles. American Corner is a re-enactment of a spatial moment from America: Painting a Nation, 2013, hosted at the Art Gallery of NSW. As a survey of American painting, since 1750, the exhibition delivered a powerful narrative, by any account. However, today the art `Blockbuster increasingly stages its own interior conflict, in the duel between space and content. This can produce unexpected results. In the final zone of America: Painting a Nation the spectator is sharply `painted into a corner. The mise-en-scène includes: a vivid red wall / directions to the `Shop & Kids Zone / a restless young intern / an adjacent white wall / Robert Irwins Untitled (1966-67) suspended in its monocular form. A dead-end? Or perhaps a suspended jump-cut. Since (just like Hollywood) we find out a sequel is coming, with Pop to Popism! next to adorn this surface. A melancholy experience. Feelings of despondence. Maybe it was just me? American Corner re-enacts this moment in order to find out -- at the new home of ALASKA Studios at the corner of William Street and Riley Street in Darlinghurst.
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