Australia @ Venice Biennale: Simryn Gill Brings the Outside In (And Vice Versa)

Simryn Gill ,  Untitled , 2004. Film Still from Super 8.

Simryn Gill, Untitled, 2004. Film Still from Super 8.

Simryn Gill makes the ordinary extraordinary at the 55th Annual Venice Biennale. The “Australian” artist (Gill makes a point in interviews to note that although she resides in Australia she is in fact from Singapore and foreigner to the land) surveys her environment like an archaeologist or an explorer. She finds everyday objects and re-purposes them into sculptural hangings. Photography is used as an artistic documentation. Viewing it is much like looking into a visual journal or sketchbook with fragments of isolated details that could easily be overlooked but for some reason Gill has deemed important . The fun part, of course, is making the connection and assuming conclusions.

Curated by Catherine de Zegher, a former director of Soho’s Drawing Center, the exhibition spans from found objects to drawings and sculptures to film stills and photographs of moments inspired by pit mines, dams, lakes and waterholes of Australia. Gill also transformed the space itself by removing it’s roof top and designing the overall interior landscape. Thus making the act of viewing a participatory and collaborative with elements of nature.

Collette McGruder