Art Fades

Art Fades
type C photographs
approx 800 x 600 mms

'Fereday's first solo exhibition, at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, unfolded as an installation in four parts, each consisting of several large colour prints pinned directly onto the wall. Although these photographs are themselves derived directly from photographic images - the background detail from magazine advertisements - this source is not immediately obvious. What is more striking is a lingering resemblance to objects of an aesthetic sublime more often associated with the modernist abstract painting tradition. ...An integral part of each piece are photographs of individual words also lifted from advertising. Incised and abstracted, however, words such as 'become' or 'other' could just as easily function as indexes to 'deconstructive intent', calling up an entirely different body of discourse. ... Without any definite object, these textual fragments hover intransitively. The suggestion is that these traces of advertising imagery share with modernist abstraction 'a language of visual seduction which works upon a displacement of emotional and spiritual desire'. Colour, surface, texture draw you in - but to what? What is really disclosed at all? The 'language' being mobilised is of the fragmentation of experience in the 'everyday' of printed matter, of abstractions of desire, without depth or conviction.

... Colours and textures evoke those of clothing and skin, but enlarged to a dramatic scale which flattens form, relocates detail in the grain of an indeterminate field. Within these minimal frames the impressions left are of the subtle pull of drapery, a hint of the body (clothed and disrobed), lingering like the scent of perfume in an empty room.'

Janet Shanks, exhibition review, Photofile, Winter 1989

Copyright © Susan Fereday, 2019