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‘Freshness’ has shifted from an organic state to an abstract, cultural sign. It’s become fluid and slippery: infusing feelings and atmosphere, products, architecture and design.
Ever Fresh reflects on this global currency of ‘freshness’ through installations, videos, objects and images. It will temporarily transform the gallery into a futuristic, commercial utopia—resembling those that surround us with plastic plants, sparkling surfaces and lively screens.
Such pop-up promotions, retail spaces and spas, set the scene for a new economy of self- and home- improvements, renovations and makeovers. They host the illusion of luxury, the allure of innovation and the promise of natural perfection. They promote all-year-round spring-cleaning and the excessive drinking of bottled water.
Freshness, in this new sense, defies death and decay. It offers the intensity of nowness and optimism of newness through fresh breath, fresh ideas, fresh faces and fresh air.
As exciting, new contributors to the contemporary art world, the artists in Ever Fresh buy into this ideal. The reality they present us with is filtered through alluring colours and reflected in glossy finishes. At the same time, they tease our constant hydrating, detoxing, updating and upgrading. Plants are so alive they vibrate; water hydrates so hard it turns to slime.
Moreover, the endless optimism of freshness is tested where material tensions arise. The artifice of digital effects and perfect products is heightened when combined with the fallibility of human flesh, the blemishes of organic produce, the imperfections produced by hand.
Making material the powerful, emotional pull that is implicit in the invocation to renew, the artworks in Ever Fresh mirror a reality in which change is the only constant in our personal and social worlds.
Features work by Tully Arnot (AU), Kristin Cammermeyer (US), Adham Faramawy (UK), Emily Parsons-Lord (AU), Marilyn Schneider (AU) and Kawita Vatanajyankur (THAI).
Please join us for a talk with Marilyn Schneider and curator Josephine Skinner, 26th April at 14:30 at Stills Gallery.