Lost city of the Monkey God

A jaguar/human spirit effigy, part of a chair embedded in dirt in the Honduran jungle.
(c/o National Geographic)

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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!