25 June 1998 - 1 August 1998
Opening Reception 25 June 1998 8pm
Dig, Head-level Happening, Courtesy Moments: After You
(Art that Says Hello)
In some of my art, as seen in this exhibition, I attempt to bring together disparate references, often taken from banal or common-place social artifacts, behaviours, or codes of meaning that are considered so unglamorous or boringly functional as to be unworthy of notice. I consider these presences as our cultural unconscious. They are a sub-level of meaning, of purposeful yet underprivileged expression, the residue of social organization and interaction. Because we seem to consider these items, activities, and surroundings to be secondary and forgettable, they present a rich terrain of emotionally loaded associations and latent familiarities to explore and employ.
The works in this installation fit together here, even though they weren’t made to do so, because they have resulted from similar lines of inquiry and speculation. They are presented together to provide a focus on these particular zones of interest that I have recognized throughout my various artistic projects. Be it in the video-taped performances where I go into the public to perform comical good-deeds, as seen in Courtesy Moments: After You (part of the ongoing series Art that says Hello), in the literally submerged-narrative of the sculpture, Dig, where fact and fiction fold in on each other and draw the viewer in as well, or in the friendly but lifeless, implicit yet ambiguous purpose of the structure, Head-level Happening. All three works reflect my ongoing surprise and curiosity regarding the human facility for generating and dismantling shared “realities” that work for and against us. The participatory elements of these works also reflect my changing relationship to art, objects, and audience – this interest in access and contact signifies my desire to re-examine attitudes and assumptions of art-proper, as well as my motivations for viewing and making art.
John Marriott has been exhibiting nationally and internationally since 1990. His solo exhibitions have included The Power Plant exhibition, John Marriott, 1996. Group exhibitions have included One Less Than 9, Proposition Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1997, and Beauty 2, The Power Plant, Toronto, 1995.