Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ken + Julia Yonetani @ the Australia Council for the Arts

 Still life: the food bowl, 2010, salt, dimensions variable

Ken + Julia Yonetani are currently showing work as part of genart_sys, an exhibition presented by the Australia Council for the Arts and curated by New Media Curation, which runs until 16 March 2011.

"genart_sys showcases 19 innovative artists, collectives and organisations supported by the Australia Council from a broad range of artforms. Theirs is a generative, ever evolving system of art-making, by which artists are innovating and sharing stories and knowledge over space and time, playing and interfacing with audiences across diverse platforms and communities.

Building digital culture, all these artists are connecting with us across real and virtual platforms, leading us into new territory with exciting examples of how technologies and content can converge." - Kathy Keele, CEO, Australia Council for the Arts.

"The groundwater salt that is such a problem for the Murray-Darling basin is the material and subject matter of the Yonetani’s new works. On show are preliminary salt works and accompanying video which are part of a larger installation. These salt works bring us back to the environmental cost of agricultural production and the historical associations of salt - as a powerful, sacred substance that maintains life by enabling food preservation, but also induces the death of ecosystems. Death through salinity is mixed with the everyday in the form of a fruit bowl on a coffee table, ready to eat but morphed into salt, and a video in which the genre of still life painting has been reduced to its modern, digitised, salinised equivalent. Their multimedia work is inspired by close-up images of stomata from the leaves of trees near the Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, acquired using electron microscopic technology from the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility at the University of Sydney. The work reveals the hidden process of photosynthesis and respiration of plant life to the naked human eye, asking us to once again begin a lost conversation with trees as living and breathing spirits."

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