memorate.com.au – Art installation: ANZAC – an alternative perspective

memorate.com.au installation promo

memorate.com.au

An installation by Orange based artist Victor Gordon at the Orange Regional Gallery

Opening Friday the 24th April – 5th July 2015

This exhibition coincides with the 100 year Anzac Day Commemoration and is the culmination of eighteen months preparation. The Orange Regional Gallery is hosting a site-specific art installation intended, not as a static commemorative exhibition to be viewed passively, but as a simulated emotional and intellectual experience intended to provoke thought. Gallery 2 will be transformed to provide a powerful and perhaps confronting artistic response to the supreme sacrifice of soldier volunteers in WWI.

It will provide an historical overview of the military hierarchy and the human resources required to conduct the Great War. The statistics of all Australian volunteers who died as well as those of our community here in Orange and districts will be included.

Website memorate.com.au screengrabA large scale 9 metre long panelled painting will take up one entire wall of Gallery 2. The painting sets ‘the stage’ by [re]presenting the industrial-scale magnitude of tombstone production to meet the demand of the War Graves Commission for an adequate and tasteful commemoration of the dead.

While of intense topical interest at this moment in time to the general viewer on a national scale, Gordon’s installation is directed towards engaging and addressing the local community of Orange, by symbolically bringing together and bringing home, the (approximately 120) volunteers from our district who died in WWI.

Attention will importantly be drawn to one individual, Private Ernest Lachlan Powter, who was the youngest volunteer from Orange to die. Being born on 9th march 1900, he was fifteen when he lied about his age to go to the war and was dead by the time he was sixteen!

Concurrently An image of Alec Campbell, who volunteered at age sixteen and survived to become the last Anzac to die, also features. Of note is his personal reflection on Anzac which evolved and developed after his war service as he matured.

The installation will additionally include reference to contemporary local and national opposition to the war. The shaming symbol of their non patriotic stance, the white feather, will form an integral aspect of the installation, which highlighted the divisive sentiment on the home front and peaked around the two failed conscription referenda debates which divided the nation. Orange was not excluded.

Gordon’s art will provide thoughtful insights into the tough choices young men faced; to volunteer and potentially die, be wounded or otherwise be permanently affected or, face being labelled a coward — which could mean becoming a social outcast, forever stigmatised.

By highlighting the devastating cost of Australia’s voluntary participation in the Great War in young Australian lives, Victor Gordon’s aesthetic response to the Anzac legacy will provide much food for thought.

Visit official site “memorate.com.au” for updates

Art installation – ANZAC, CWD 22 Jan 2015

Orange media article

Read the CWD article

memorate.com.au

An installation by Orange based artist Victor Gordon at the Orange Regional Gallery

Opening Friday the 24th April – 5th July 2015

This exhibition coincides with the 100 year Anzac Day Commemoration and is the culmination of eighteen months preparation. The Orange Regional Gallery is hosting a site-specific art installation intended, not as a static commemorative exhibition to be viewed passively, but as a simulated emotional and intellectual experience intended to provoke thought. Gallery 2 will be transformed to provide a powerful and perhaps confronting artistic response to the supreme sacrifice of soldier volunteers in WWI.

It will provide an historical overview of the military hierarchy and the human resources required to conduct the Great War. The statistics of all Australian volunteers who died as well as those of our community here in Orange and districts will be included.

memorate.com.au promotional materialA large scale 9 metre long panelled painting will take up one entire wall of Gallery 2. The painting sets ‘the stage’ by [re]presenting the industrial-scale magnitude of tombstone production to meet the demand of the War Graves Commission for an adequate and tasteful commemoration of the dead.

While of intense topical interest at this moment in time to the general viewer on a national scale, Gordon’s installation is directed towards engaging and addressing the local community of Orange, by symbolically bringing together and bringing home, the (approximately 120) volunteers from our district who died in WWI.

Attention will importantly be drawn to one individual, Private Ernest Lachlan Powter, who was the youngest volunteer from Orange to die. Being born on 9th march 1900, he was fifteen when he lied about his age to go to the war and was dead by the time he was sixteen!

Website memorate.com.au screengrabConcurrently An image of Alec Campbell, who volunteered at age sixteen and survived to become the last Anzac to die, also features. Of note is his personal reflection on Anzac which evolved and developed after his war service as he matured.

The installation will additionally include reference to contemporary local and national opposition to the war. The shaming symbol of their non patriotic stance, the white feather, will form an integral aspect of the installation, which highlighted the divisive sentiment on the home front and peaked around the two failed conscription referenda debates which divided the nation. Orange was not excluded.

Gordon’s art will provide thoughtful insights into the tough choices young men faced; to volunteer and potentially die, be wounded or otherwise be permanently affected or, face being labelled a coward — which could mean becoming a social outcast, forever stigmatised.

By highlighting the devastating cost of Australia’s voluntary participation in the Great War in young Australian lives, Victor Gordon’s aesthetic response to the Anzac legacy will provide much food for thought.

You can keep up to date with this exhibition by visiting memorate.com.au

Multi-Didactic October 2001

Installation based on 9/11Mixed media installation: Small rug, transparent acrylic cube, wire basket, stainless steel bucket, rope, shaped painted boards and lettering
300 x 69 x 100 cm

This installation was prompted by the events of September 2001. I had, prior to the momentous bombings in the USA been contemplating addressing the issue of suicide, in rural NSW. I had come to learn of the vast numbers of suicides and the fact that they were largely brushed under the carpet so to speak, devastated me. No-one discussed these suicides and I felt compelled to make some sort of artistic statement.

The bombings of September 11th prompted me to respond to both issues in the same work. The bombings however took centre stage in the development of my installation. I combined two salient notions in my approach. The first was that the whole world seemed to out of sync and this resulted in a gigantic imbalance. I conceived of a scale of religious opposites, two hypothetically suspended buckets which did not balance. The second and more important idea was that I perceive that there is little or no compassion among the powers that be in the world. The symbols I have deployed for these polar opposites are the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. Two circular disks with their discrete symbols were placed each half way down their respective buckets to form the surfaces of half full /half empty vessels.

Mixed media installation by Victor GordonThe Red Cross representing the West’s “coalition of the willing”, their shiny stainless steel Crusaders bucket hanging high and suspended off a thick rope tied in an hangman’s noose. To make it particularly germane to Australians, I added the text “lest we forget”, the reprise used after Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen” at military remembrance services.
The Red Crescent represents the Muslim Jihadi extremists of the world and their bucket is a skeleton which is located under a transparent acrylic box on a small prayer mat on the floor. Above the acrylic box is a dusting brush also suspended from a smaller hangman’s noose.

The work is intended to provoke a correspondence or thoughtfulness on the current imbalance and lack of compassion in the world. More than a decade since making this work little has changed.

 

 

 

 

PRETEXT 1991

Mixed media installationMixed media installation: Custom built iconic frame, oil painting, assemblages, welded metal, custom built table and stair case, kelim rug, small box draw and human caul
250 x 250 x 350 cm