IAN STRANGE – SUBURBAN INTERVENTIONS 2008-2020
Explore the Suburban Interventions 2008-2020 exhibition in the company of artist Ian Strange and hear him talk about the stories behind some of his favourite works in the exhibition.
The audio tour starts in the Southern Gallery with the Suburban series and runs in the same order as the List of Works (available at reception).
This audio tour is intended to be listened to on a mobile phone or personal listening device with headphones or in a way that doesnt disturb other visitors to the Gallery.
The tour includes audio and transcripts.
TRANSCRIPTION: Hi, I’m Ian Strange. This is the Suburban Interventions 2008 to 2020 survey exhibition of my work at John Curtin Gallery. This is the first full-scale survey exhibition of my photography and film work created across the USA, Australia, Poland, and New Zealand.
TRANSCRIPTION: Suburban was the first series or large series of photographic works created of house interventions. This was created in the U.S. between 2011 and 2013. Critically, this work was created after the GFC so many of the homes in this series were foreclosed homes working through Detroit, Ohio, New Jersey, and New Hampshire.
TRANSCRIPTION: This series was titled Final Act, it was created in 2013 in Christchurch, New Zealand. I was invited to come and make work with some of the over 16,000 homes which were scheduled for demolition following the 2011 earthquake there. These works were created in collaboration with a cinematographer, Alun Bollinger, and we worked to restore the homes and create these large geometric cuts and light interventions onto the homes over a number of weeks. They were then exhibited at the Canterbury Museum and formed a part of their permanent collection, archiving the homes that have since been demolished and lost in these neighbourhoods.
TRANSCRIPTION: This three channel film work is also titled Suburban, and is connected to the suburban body of work created between 2011 and 2013, through the US. It was originally exhibited in 2013 at the NGV, and along with photographic documentation of the homes, I created this video documentation of the homes, as well as putting it into this sort of three channel work. The center channels are generally focused on the house interventions, whilst the left and right channels are working to create a sort of larger poetic context for the homes.
TRANSCRIPTION: This series is called Island. It’s three photographic works, which are part of a larger project I created in Akron, Ohio, starting in 2015. This was an area in the US I first started working in in 2011, when I worked on the suburban series of works. But for Island, I wanted to return to Akron to work directly with foreclosed homes and reflect on the circumstances of these homes and their owners as well. The title of the work Island is derived from considering the home as a desert Island, a place of safety and security and refuge, as well as a place where you can become trapped and isolated and wish to escape, so words like help and SOS are the words that you may find written in the sand of a desert Island for someone wanting rescue or help.
This is the Target series. These are works created directly onto Australian suburban homes. The work with the red dot, the target shape on it was a house in Richmond, Victoria, and was actually the site of an exhibition as well. So for this work, we turn the actual house into an art gallery itself. So on top of being an intervention and a photographic work, people were invited in for the weekend to enter the home, and each room of the home was turned into an exhibition space showing photographs, installations, and film works. The exhibition was only open for two days, and the house was demolished soon after the close of the exhibition.
TRANSCRIPTION: This work is called Zloty. It was created in Poland. The work is created directly on to a former worker’s home. This would have housed three or four families. The district this was created in was a former mining town with a lot of coal mines, which had closed down after the fall of the wall. So the idea was to find and work with the local historical society to match gold wallpaper that would have been found inside the homes in more prosperous times.
TRANSCRIPTION: This series is called Shadow. It was created in 2015 in Western Australia.
For this body of work, I wanted to look at red brick suburban homes, specifically this sort of postwar idea of American suburbia. The images you’re looking at are houses painted entirely black, and then lit by night and shot at dawn.
The photographic series is also partnered with the film work Shadow that can be found in the center of the northern gallery.