Category: Post Premonitionism

Post-Premonitionism 2

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Tracey Clement, Post-Premonitionism 2, 2014-15, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable, max height 1.8m.

Post-Premonistionism 2 is a sequel. It is my second sculptural response to JG Ballard’s novel The Drowned World. This work was installed during the group exhibition I coordinated, Mapping The Drowned World.

READ the ‘Mapping The Drowned World’ catalogue on ISSUU.

Thanks to its scale, Post-Premonitionism 2 draws on the conceptual qualities of architectural models, as well as ruins, in order to make a point. Architectural models are inherently aspirational. They embody potential, physically manifested, but not quite realised. They represent the future, while ruins ellicit a temporal slippage between the past and the present. But as a model city, my artwork adds a third temporal stream: the future already devastated.

Model cities are conventionally displayed so that the viewer takes a ‘god’s eye view’ like a triumphant ruler surveying his domain. In my work, the ruined city is positioned at eye height, precariously balanced on salty peaks of vaguely anthropomorphic volume, emphasising our complicity in creating this ruined future. Like Ballard’s novel, my ruined city is a warning.

Post-Premonitionism 2: work in progress videos

Post-Premonitionism 2 is part of my broader Mapping The Drowned World project in which I respond to the vivid prognostications in JG Ballard’s novel, The Drowned World.

READ the catalogue for Mapping The Drowned World, the group exhibition I coordinated for SCA Galleries, 8-31 October 2015.

Each of the salt cones in Post-Premonitionism 2 takes about 3 months to construct from start to finish.

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' work in progress, 18 Feb 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ work in progress, 18 Feb 2015.

The first step is to make a cone from a flat sheet of fabric.

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

The cones are then strung up, the steel structures are stitched in and the whole thing is soaked with super-saturated salt solution.

This timelapse was shot without a tripod so things move around wildly. This version is all about the buckets!

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ work in progress, 18 July – 27 Sept 2015.

This version is slightly steadier and concentrates on watching the rust develop.

Tracey Clement, 'Post-Premonitionism 2,' 2015, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable, 36 units, height 80-190cm ea. Courtesy: the artist. Installed over 2 days, 3-4 October 2015.

Tracey Clement, ‘Post-Premonitionism 2,’ 2015, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable, 36 units, height 80-190cm ea. Courtesy: the artist. Installed over 2 days, 3-4 October 2015.

125+ kilograms of salt crystals were added to the sculpture in this installation.

Click HERE for more info and more work in progress stills.

READ the catalogue for Mapping The Drowned World, the group exhibition I coordinated for SCA Galleries, 8-31 October 2015.

Mapping The Drowned World: Work in Progress

Tracey Clement with TDW work in progress, 2014, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable.

Tracey Clement with M-TDW work in progress, 2014, salt, rusty steel, cotton, dimensions variable.

‘Soon it would be too hot.’

This is the first line of J.G. Ballard’s sci-fi novel, The Drowned World.

My current PhD research is driven by the key question: In what ways have contemporary artists responded to Ballard’s novel and what issues do they raise?

With this in mind, I have invited 5 Australian artists: Gosia Wlodarczak, Jon Cattapan, Janet Tavener, Roy Ananda and Kate Mitchell, to join me in making artwork in response to imagery and themes found in The Drowned World (TDW).

This group exhibition, Mapping The Drowned World, will be held at SCA Galleries: October 8-31, 2015.

Opening: Wednesday, October 7, 6-8pm.

Written in 1962, during the perpetual slow-burning crisis of the Cold War, The Drowned World reads like a prescient vision of climate change.

As a bridge between the post-war apocalyptic fears of the recent past and current eschatological anxieties, The Drowned World (TDW) is a potentially rich source of inspiration for contemporary artists.

The work in progress above is my second response to this novel. The first can be seen here.

Post Premonitionism: JG Ballard’s The Drowned World

Post Premonitionism: What do you do when you have already seen the future? In 1962, JG Ballard’s book, The Drowned World, was a prescient warning; wilfully ignored.

Forty five years later, the causes may be different, but we seem to be spiralling into an ecological melt-down straight out of Ballard’s vision. What do you do when you have already seen the future? Apparently nothing.

In Post Premonitionism, fragile steel structures seem to mimic the skeletal remains of an abandoned city. Twisted, rusty and ephemeral, they eventually will disintegrate completely, vulnerable and helpless against nature’s inexorable power.

I have transposed Ballard’s premonition of The Drowned World on to the reality of Australia; salt takes the place of water in a continent characterised by drought.

Tracey Clement
2007

Post Premonitionism was a site-specific installation at Groundfloor Gallery, Balmain in 2007. It was my second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Photos: Details 1, 2, 4 & 5,  Richard Glover. Details 3, 6 & 7 & installation shots, Tracey Clement.