2016 Program pt 2

Back to All Events



Helen Grogan

Opening 07.09.16 6-8pm
Artist Talks 29.09.16 6-7pm

POEMING (with insistence on plurality), is the second iteration of Helen Grogan’s solo exhibition for Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne 2015. This project is a distillation of long-term research into space(s), observation, and the politics within procedures of view.

“In Helen Grogan’s work the line between viewing bodies, live performance and objects (sculptural structures, monitors, film) is often barely visible. Their interaction articulates elements of space and encourages an extraordinary physical concentration on the present. Grogan’s practice is a continuous process of looking and listening. It is a process both systematic and open to the accidental, a practice that is committed to attention and to the cultivation of embodied thought, in the time and space of the now. All parts of this practice, installation, video, action and photography...connect, reflect and speak back to each other and together form a body of work that is concerned with space as a dispositif. Defined by Adrian Martin as ‘the arrangement of diverse elements in such a way as to trigger, guide and organise a set of actions.’ Grogan’s dispositifs slow the viewer’s gaze, engage the body and direct the viewer to elements of space that frequently go unobserved.” 1

“In POEM (with insistence on plurality) video material filmed, edited and reedited in the gallery during the installation and exhibition is displayed on two monitors resting on wheeled structures.The videos are compiled of long takes of the structures installed in the gallery, long takes of the gallery space, long takes of the street outside the gallery..., and long takes of the work against a backdrop, with photographic studio lighting. The diegetic sounds captured during filming extend the portraits of the space into layered sonic fields, oscillating both between the two monitors, and the interior and exterior of the gallery. The videos draw attention to the formal and material qualities of the structures and to their performances in different spatial contexts, as well as participate in the close observation of the site (both inside and outside).” 2

1,2 - Excepts from Sarinah Masukor’s catalogue text ‘Helen Grogan - POEM (with insistence on plurality)’, Gertrude Contemporary, 2015


Informed by studies in philosophy and choreography, Helen Grogan uses sculptural, photographic, and filmic means to approach space and spatial concepts as material(s). Her works directly engage exhibition sites as situations to be expanded and opened in material, ontological, and political ways. With a particular interest in framing what is already occurring, Grogan works from the perspective that the gallery exhibition is itself performative and viewers are implicated through the physical and intellectual act of observation. Grogan’s practice operates critically and dynamically with exhibition formats and institutional conditions. Works often incorporate explicit processes of flux, drift, layering, and reconfiguration as means to push or stretch potential temporalities and spatialities. By employing devices that resist fixed or prioritised points of view or points in time, her works seek an embodied attention within the present.

Grogan’s works have been exhibited at: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Art Gallery of New South Wales; 20th Biennale of Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria International; Gertrude Contemporary; 2nd Tbilisi Triennial; Liquid Architecture; Alaska Projects; Gertrude Glasshouse; Slopes; West Space; Rijksakademie; Stockholm Kulturhuset; Kontext Festival Berlin; VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery; C3; amongst others. Recent solo exhibitions: STUDIO WORK (COMPRESSION WITH OPENING PLANE), Gertrude Contemporary Studio 10, 2016; THREE ADJOINING SPACES WITH MANIFOLD EDGES, Westspace, 2015; POEM (with insistence on plurality), Gertrude Glasshouse, 2015; PERFORMATIVE STRUCTURES FOR SLOPES, Slopes, 2014. Curatorial projects include: SPECIFIC IN-BETWEEN (the choreographic negotiated in six parts) in ‘Framed Movement’, ACCA, 2014. Grogan undertook the Gertrude Contemporary studio artist residency 2014-2016.

Earlier Event: August 23
LA2016: Same/Everything
Later Event: October 5