Ian Strange | Shadows
Australian born, New York-based artist Ian Strange returns to Sydney to broach a familiar subject in a not so familiar way.
Born in the suburbs of Perth, and spending his formative years as a graffiti artist under the moniker Kid Zoom, Ian Strange embodies many of the contradictions and binaries that his art explores. The enduring motif in his work – the home – is constantly displaced in his work as he physically marks and disturbs it to create a work that is both familiar yet uncanny.
Working with the global symbol of the home, Strange has evaded the confines of being viewed as only a local artist. This latest exhibition, SHADOW, is part of an ongoing international work that began with a to-scale reconstruction of his family home at Cockatoo Island as part of the Sydney Biennale in 2011. He continued exploring the subject of the home in the US during the financial crisis, which for many Americans exemplified the demise of the American dream.
For the artist the culmination of his spray painting, and street art with his expansive multimedia exploration of the symbol of suburbia represents a resolution to explore his own identity through “suburban interventions”.
His latest body of work SHADOW is a photographic and film-based exhibition created between 2015 and 2016 of five site-specific interventions incorporating Australian homes.
Time intensive and epic productions, his practice is just as much about the process as the finished product. Strange and his team painted the homes entirely black and worked to document them as large-scale photographic works.
The end result is a jarring effect, created in real time in the Australian landscape, Strange is blackening the symbol of the suburban home, making it an enigma in the landscape. Once representing security and stability, the architectural shapes are now skewed as reality becomes distorted.
Evoking feelings of loneliness and displacement the works need to be viewed in person to appreciate the physical discomfort they evoke. Alongside the photographs SHADOW presents a single channel film work with a 5.1 surround sound soundscape.
Set in the context of Australia, Strange’s works draw eery parallels to the narrative of the Australian gothic, with the blackened spaces of the homes threatened by the ominous Australian landscape at dusk.
The SHADOW exhibition coincides with the release of the ABC iview series ‘HOME: The Art of Ian Strange”. A commissioned 6-part web-series looking at the past 6-years of Strange’s art practice around the world.
Ian Strange | SHADOW
Thursday, 2 March, 2017
13-15 Levey Street, Chippendale, NSW
Courtesy the artist