Olaf Breuning

source: http://olafbreuning.tumblr.com, http://www.beneventolosangeles.com

Now Showing: Pulp Fictions @ Westspace

These pictures are from my current exhibition Pulp Fictions, a collaboration with my friend and fellow paper-mâché-ist, Jonas Ropponen. The works for this show were developed using the metaphor of paper-mâché as a premise for deconstructing existing objects and making them anew. We both swapped a number of things - including original sculptures, books, pictures, written phrases and verbal instructions - which were reinterpreted in various ways. Some of the final works were made directly from the original material, while others were developed from ideas that emerged from the encounter. The result was a very playful and yet sincere response to a highly diverse range of materials and ideas.

I found myself unintentionally embodying Jonas' sculptural style, and creating a number of highly anthropomorphic - or to be more accurate, pareidolic - sculptures. And I don't mean this in a creepy, Rosemary's Baby kind of way, it was just a different way of looking at things. The overall process was not only incredibly fun, but also very liberating;  it was an ideal opportunity to step outside our usual modes of working and be more experimental in our approach. In some ways, it even helped me confront my fear of abstraction, as I managed to create my first ever abstract painting (see below). It's funny how an exercise like this can bring to light how easily you can end up (literally) painting yourself into a corner by never attempting something markedly different from your previous artistic output. To that end, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

As part of our project, we also produced a limited edition artist book/catalogue, which has a hand-printed wood-block cover, and a number of images of the development of the project. It also contains a brief essay by Jonas outlining the process undertaken to create the works, and an 'exquisite corpse' style story - which revealed a number of unusual and unexpected parallels...

The books are available for $15 at the Westspace bookshop until they run out. (There was about 20 left when I last checked!)

Pulp Fictions runs from May17th  until  June 8th at Westspace, Level 1, 225 Bourke St, Melbourne.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 12-6pm.

*All photos on this post courtesy Kim Jaeger. Thanks Kim!

Tarantism by Joachim Koester

This film is currently on display at the Ian Potter Museum at Melbourne University. It is a choreographed dance, based on accounts of a medieval Italian ritualistic dance that was employed to prevent poisoning from spider bites (I'm not sure that there are Tarantulas in Italy, though?). Unfortunately this captured version doesn't do the original film any justice, so if you are in that neck of the woods, I strongly encourage you to spend five minutes or so to watch it - it's quite mesmerising.

Coming Up: "Pulp Fictions", with Jonas Ropponen

I have recently been working with my friend and colleague Jonas Ropponen to create a collection of works for an upcoming exhibition, titled Pulp Fictions. This show uses the process of making paper-mâché as a kind of metaphoric departure point for a collaborative exchange of materials and ideas. Given that Jonas and I are both frequent users of this medium, it seemed an appropriate way of engaging each other's practice. At its essence, the making of paper mâché requires the deconstruction of one object in order to construct a new one (newspaper into piñata, for example), so we have adapted this approach as a system of exchange and transformation. 

We have been giving each other objects which the other has been transforming, or using as a conceptual springboard to create something new. Sculptures, pictures, found objects, rubbish and studio ephemera have been swapped, and are currently undergoing a process of reinvention. The exhibition will be a collaborative installation of the final products.

Pulp Fictions will be on display at Westspace, from 17th May to 8th June, 2013.
Opening event, May 16th, from 6-8pm.

V I D E O A R T - Guy Ben Ner

2013 ought to be exciting. One thing in particular I plan to explore further this year is video. I have only ventured into that realm once (in any serious sense) and it was, in my mind, a successful undertaking. It involved a number of studio-based experiments with ephemeral or unpredictable materials such as mud, ice and expanding foam - and the documentation of these materials and their behaviour. The final result was presented in an immersive, sculptural environment. Sadly, my documentation of this was grossly insufficient, but there are a few images of the final result here.

In my search for ideas for my new project, I recently discovered the films of Guy Ben Ner, and Israeli video artist.  Ben Ner makes seemingly very simple, yet beautiful and funny films apparently shot in his own home, and employing occasional props to embellish the story. The inclusion of his children as actors in some of the films makes them incredibly endearing, and helps to find a tone that balances the absurd with the profound. They are reminiscent of Buster Keaton or Chaplin's films, in their lack of sound, the use of text panels in the narration, and the way simple devices such as slapstick and visual trickery are employed to bring humour to the story.

Below is his adaptation of Moby Dick.


h a p p y n e w y e a r

Hi there.
This is just a brief note to say that one of my resolutions for twenty thirteen is to take the blog by the horns, so to speak; to put to good and proper use this thing that lurks mostly in the periphery of my digitally enhanced life. I hope that this new era will be beneficial for the both of us [you and I].

On that note, here's a song to stir the spirits...

speak to you soon.