Natasha Dusenjko ‘Babel‘ @ Craft Vic

22 05 2009

Wow. This exhibit is amazing!

Exhibition media: “Babel is a word-based collection of fine porcelain and paper works. This collection of short texts constitutes a series of incantations, codes and instructions scrolled around porcelain bones or thin spines. The porcelain bones are internal structures and vessels of ancestor memory. This memory is fluid, is evasive, is aquatic. The thin spines resemble futuristic Towers of Babel reaching into space, anticipating communication and new frontiers. These towers have either an upright or collapsed form.


Natasha Dusenjko 'Towers of Babel' 2009, approx 40 pieces; on 'Map 1' [photograph taken with permission of gallery staff]

Natasha Dusenjko 'Towers of Babel' 2009, approx 40 pieces; on 'Map 1' ; photograph taken with permission of gallery staff

There is a sense of fragility and loneliness in these towers – each somehow alone though surrounded by many others.


A few exerpts from the beautiful accompanying text that strongly resonate with me:

  • Map 1 exhibits a similarity to ancient star charts, the placement of towers alluding to significant points of a constellation.
  • every person is an embodiment of their ancestor

The towers are a porcelain spine with small text scrolls wound around them. What is most amazing – which I imagine will be unique to me – is that I too have been working with winding thin paper strips (with text or cut images), similar to elements in this work, for a year or so now … knowing that there is something in it, but not quite finding my way to use it yet.

It is incredible and fascinating that artists can be working on the same element or concept, at the same time, yet be so completely separate and unknown to each other.

I am still processing my experience of this exhibition – I felt a great connection and resonance, but understanding and describing why still evades me.

Natasha Dusenjko ‘Babel‘ is at Craft Victoria from 30th April to 13th June 2009.

Update: after I wrote this story, the Craft Vic blog published some excellent photographs.

Update (29th May 2009): today the Craft Vic blog (clog) published an interview with Natasha, and some lovely new photographs.

Update (7th June 2009): Marcus at ArtBlart has posted some fantastic images of this work. And points us to a story by Daniel Neville at The Theory of Nevolution on the same exhibition.



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