stunning and conceptually nuanced, these images read like storyboards
for an unmakeable film, or oddly, as auditions for not only future work,
but for the future itself.
Ikea furniture (!) is covered in the red dirt as fine as talcum and
the colour of paprika, as though the desert itself had reclaimed these
Modernist couches and lamps and armchairs - brumby mound. A lounge
setting, in one of the remotest regions in the world, looks oddly hieratic
amongst the Spinifex and sagebrush.
And fire of the group of works in this exhibition: burning Ayer - the
fierce joy of fire where dense matter achieves release into other forms
- evoking the giving over of the old name Ayers Rock to it traditional
name Uluru. Fire that is at the heart of a burning continent.
Just as the familiar and the strange are not opposed in Freud's unheimlich,
but include each other, so the artist must try and transform social
contradictions into some kind of aesthetic paradox. And this is
what I think Rosemary Laing is doing in this work: art as a kind of
reverse homeopathy, using a little bit of poison for the cure, fighting
fire with fire.
Adapted from George Alexander's
text for "Face Up", Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2003.
Rosemary Laing wishes to acknowledge the Warlayirti Artists and Wirrimanu
Community, Balgo WA, and Stephen Grant for assistance in the realisation
of this work.