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Browse the Rencontres Internationales catalogue, or search the archives of the works presented since 2004. New video clips are routinely posted and the images and text are regularly updated.
Sonia leber, david chezworth
Earthwork
Video | hdv, 1920 x 1080 | color | 5'0'' | Australia | 2016
Earthwork’s screen is positioned flat on the floor, facing upwards. The visitor, looking down, gets a bird’s-eye view of a suburban landscape in which there are destroyed buildings, damaged roads, fences, and gardens. The image suggests a world that has undergone massive disruption. It is unclear whether accident, entropic forces, or warfare has caused this result. Superimposed upon Earthwork’s devastated landscape is another smaller image that presents the viewer with an alternative framing the site. We see diagrams: symbols of what might be location coordinates, suggesting an ongoing search for boundaries, and an intention. The two images appear to be attempting to ‘line-up’, but this is never achieved. The title, Earthwork, references the American Land Art movement of the 1960s; Leber and Chesworth’s videowork further explores Robert Smithson’s concept of the ‘non-site’. A non-site is an artwork situated in a gallery that metaphorically represents a remote actual site. As Smithson suggests ‘the site is evading you all the while its directing you to it’.
Sonia Leber and David Chesworth are known for their distinctive installation artworks, using video, sound, architecture, and public participation. Developed through expansive research in places undergoing social change, Leber and Chesworth’s works are speculative and archaeological, responding to architectural, social, and technological settings. Exhibitions include ‘56th Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures’ (2015) and ‘19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire’ (2014). Solo exhibitions include ‘Architecture Makes Us’, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2018); ‘Zaum Tractor’, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2014); and Gridchinhall, Moscow (2013); ‘The Way You Move Me’, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2012); ‘Space-Shifter’, Detached/MONA FOMA, Hobart (2012); Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2011); and Conical, Melbourne (2009); and ‘Almost Always Everywhere Apparent’, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2007). Group exhibitions include ‘Looking at me through you’, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2017); ‘Borders, Barriers, Walls’, Monash University Museum of Art (2016); Substation Contemporary Art Prize, Melbourne (winner, 2016); ‘Melbourne Now’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013-14); Gold Coast Art Prize (winner, 2014), Screengrab6 Award, Townsville (winner, 2014), ‘Cooperation Territory’, 16thLine Art Gallery, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (2013); ‘Spaced: Art Out of Place’, Fremantle Art Centre (2012); ‘Stealing the Senses’, Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2011).