A Grammar of Space

University of Wollongong
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A Grammar of Space
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'A Grammar of Space' takes some of the questions on the relationship between a territory and its descriptions, developed in Spatial Narratives (National Gallery Prague June 2011) and discusses those in a different materiality and aesthetic logic. In 'spatial narratives', a large and monolithic structure carries excerpts of landscape descriptions by eleven prominent Australian writers from indigenous and colonial backgrounds. This "body" of text is sliced through by a metal wheel studded with a description of the Australian landscape by Joseph Banks, botanist on Captain Cooks Endeavour. \ The eleven drawings of A Grammar of Space seem to be concealing a script underneath or possibly within their furious lines. Again, the eleven literary excerpts are present in the gallery space. But unlike in Spatial Narratives, here they are removed from the actual body of work. Mediated and at a distance to the drawings, they can be read in isolation, evoking many subjective landscapes of difference: physical and emotional, visible and imaginary. Each drawing comprises a landscape within its rich texture of webbed lines. The clearly defined outlines of the drawings, though, suggest an invisible border that is not to be transgressed just as the texts remain within their linguistic frame. Literary strategies and spatial strategies in this exhibition of alternate geographies describe the production and formulation of interior territories as the only possible model of an attempt to understand the spaces we create by living.
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