Conners Conners Argyle Street is an impermanent project space located in a separate site at the corner of Argyle and Fitzroy Streets, Fitzroy. It aligns with Conners Conners’ core mission to provide a supportive and dynamic space for artists to experiment and take risks, while providing an expanded platform for more voices, conversations and modes of practice. Conners Conners Argyle Street is led by a project team currently including Myf Doughty, Ela Egidy and Annika Aitken.
ex libris (out of the library) April 29 - June 11, 2023
ex libris is a shadow library built through the collective contribution of its visitors. The library takes its form by drawing on existing library collections, asking participants to borrow books and deposit them within the ex libris library. This library takes a (dis)organisational approach to its assemblage, seeking to explore the tensions between public and private ownership, collective labour and shared knowledges.
The depositing of books becomes the very infrastructure that builds the gallery space, a living library not confined by systems of classification, membership, or institutional access. This collection is not constrained by fixed boundaries of library structures, but rather expands and transforms through the connections and multiplicities of those who contribute to it.
‘The Law of the Good Neighbour’ was the principal tenet employed in the organisation of the library founded by art historian Aby Warburg. Warburg’s library was one in which its contents were arranged not by author, title, or date, but instead assembled according to each individual title’s ability to ask a question of the one that sat proximate to it; books arranged in a manner where their position allows them to speak to one another, to cross-examine, provoke and assemble ideas. Warburg designed a unique, flexible system that resisted the fixed, rigid permanency of the existing systems of structured organisation in libraries. This was a (dis)organisational structure that was constantly rearranged according to new additions.
ex libris takes this (dis)organisational structure of building one’s personal library as a starting point and extends the idea through the introduction of collective labour. For the duration of the exhibition, Conners Conners Argyle Street will house a temporary shadow library whose collection consists entirely of borrowed books. This project extends an invitation to members of the community to visit their public library, and, in accordance with their lending rules, to loan out a number of books to install within ex libris. This is a living library arranged and rearranged with the intention of an accumulation of ideas in shifting dialogues.
The labour involved in relocating the contents of one library to another, person by person, book by book, demonstrates a willingness of the visitor to share in the collective creation of something new. This is an exhibition that cannot be without the collective labour of its visitors.
The act of depositing borrowed books manifests a transfer of trust from oneself to the other, initiating an unspoken social contract that acknowledges the responsibility we share to collectively care for this public property.
The books in ex libris will not be loanable but rather will be available at Conners Conners Argyle Street to be scanned and read throughout the duration of the program.
ex libris is a library that owes its existence to the collective labour of its visitors.
MEAGAN STREADER, To throw a shadow, 9 Feb - March 11, 2023
Meagan Streader’s work pushes the limits of light within sculpture and installation. Streader manipulates, reinterprets and extends upon the boundaries of constructed spaces. Through site-specific interventions, her multidimensional use of light re-orientates the viewer’s relationship to the pre-existing architecture and scale of a given space. In this way, Streader’s work reveals the pervasive role of light in governing physical and social navigations of fabricated spaces.
Streader completed a Bachelor of Fine Art/Visual Arts at Queensland University of Technology in 2010. Since then, she has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including in solo exhibitions at MARS Gallery, Melbourne; McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Langwarrin, Victoria; Metro Arts Gallery, Brisbane; Milani CARPARK, Brisbane; and Pepper House Studios, Fort Kochi as part of the KochiAIR program in Kerala. She has undertaken a NARS International Residency in New York. Her work has also been shown at Dark Mofo, Hobart; Underbelly Arts Festival at Cockatoo Island, Sydney; Brisbane Powerhouse; Arts House, Sydney and more. Her work is held in the collections of the Justin Art House Museum in Melbourne and Gold Coast University Hospital, as well as private collections in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
Meagan Streader is represented by MARS Gallery, Melbourne.
LIV MORIARY, also and also 2023
Liv Moriarty makes work about interrelations– focusing on middle grounds and connecting threads in an attempt to understand and to be understood.
I speak in order to locate myself alongside everything else. The moment unfolds and I see myself watching it, tracing desire-paths that lead above my head and arrive under my feet. We follow a line that separates as it connects; it marks out space and puts it aside for later, translated by difference, held up as the other. The diagram maps out an idea through the sum of its parts, it allows for stillness as time sheds its skin; stand still enough and feel the world shift. This connection holds things up as they fall into place, it plots out happenings on an axis of relation.
Language translates time and slips through space, leaving a trail of ands and alsos. They are connected by a dotted line, formed by continuous interactions, influencing and being influenced, sensing and being sensed. This event is reflective, it has to exist in relation to other moments in order to exist at all, it asks to be experienced and encountered. The moment passes, into the infinite space between seeing, telling and listening that continues to be as close as possible. You can watch the feedback-loop ripple outward, movement turning to movement in turn – detect and respond.
Image credit: Conners Conners Argyle Street, installation view Meagan Streader, To throw a shadow, 2023 and Liv Moriarty, also and also, 2023.