ErehwonBrook Andrew | Mikala Dwyer and Justene Williams | Tony Garifalakis |
Claire Lambe | Clare Milledge
Erewhon is the return of Neverwhere, an exhibition that travelled to Istanbul last year, commissioned by Asialink as part of the Australia Year in Turkey. Neverwhere presented the work of artists that disturbed distinctions between our real and imagined selves, and between the authentic and the fantastical. Narratives were informed by external – and often mysterious – forces, both seen and unseen. And it is farther in this direction – towards the darker, more charged imaginings – that the work in Erewhon leads us.
More correctly, of course, Erewhon is the (not quite syntactically correct) return of ‘Nowhere’ and title of a novel by Samuel Butler, first published anonymously in 1872. Erewhon was set in a fictional eponymous country. The story provided a satire (and philosophical exploration) of various aspects of Victorian society, most notably crime and punishment, religion and science. For example, according to Erewhonian law, offenders were treated as if they were ill, whereas ill people were looked upon as criminals. These ideas – among others (technological progress, the impossibility of utopias, the effects of colonization, discipline and control) – form both the thesis and the point of departure for the exhibition Erewhon.
National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and through the Visual Arts and
Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. NETS Victoria also receives significant in-kind support from the National Gallery of Victoria.
IMAGE: Mikaka Dywer and Justene Williams, Red Rockers 2010, Film still from single-channel Standard Definition video. Courtesy of the artists, Anna Schwartz and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.