PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Wednesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
15° & CLEAR SKY ON WEDNESDAY 21 AUGUST IN SYDNEY
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Siouxzi Mernagh’s PEEP

Siouxzi Mernagh's latest project is a synthesis of book, art installation and experimental film.
By Chris Rudge
March 12, 2012
  shares

Siouxzi Mernagh’s PEEP

Siouxzi Mernagh's latest project is a synthesis of book, art installation and experimental film.
By Chris Rudge
March 12, 2012
  shares

As an artist, Sydney-born Siouxzi Mernagh is uncommonly dexterous. Mernagh writes and performs poetry, she’s a photographer (polaroids are her specialty), an award-winning filmmaker (she's made eight short films, including most recently The Dangers and Exit), and a novelist, having already scrivened two novels, the latest of which is The Peep Show. Mernagh is also adroit in a more theoretical mode, having recently finished her fellowship at Berlin's Institute of Cultural Inquiry, where she produced her seventh film, and published a number of reviews on avante-garde, underground, and counter cinema.

Mernagh's latest project, PEEP, is an art installation and a conceptual synthesis of her experimental film Exit and her book The Peep Show. And when one considers ALASKA Projects as the show's exhibition space — subaltern, cavernous, mysteriously hidden in the basement of a carpark — it strikes that the titles of Mernagh’s works function as shepherding metonyms for our total experience of seeing art, and specifically Mernagh’s installation, in this extraordinary site. Among its own various ‘exits’, for example, ALASKA surreptitiously offers a ‘peep show’ through which we may see the art world ‘outside’. Likewise, PEEP offers only a small, but strangely representative peek at Mernagh’s larger ouevre as a multidisciplinary artmaker. The first eight chapters of The Peep Show, for instance, are viewable in the form of pasted-up extracts around the carpark walls, but they remain only a glimpse of the larger story.

Especially effective is the use to which Mernagh puts ALASKA’s stairwell, which now functions as a dark antechamber and as a direct earline to the subconscious. In this strange, liminal zone voices we might expect only ever to hear in our heads, while reading, become spookily real and resonant in a voice performance of Mernagh’s novel. All the same, we’re confused: stuck between floors and wedged between paragraphs, one can never quite be certain of one’s place within the narrative, let alone within the gallery. In the main room, meanwhile, amid a muddy mattress and some discarded clothes and furniture, different sequences of Exit (Mernagh’s filmic ode to life on a lost highway, and a love story between two nomadic young women) play all at once on a quadrant of screens.

Profoundly cinematic, thoroughly underground, unsettling and dissociating, the overall effect of PEEP is original and beguiling.

Alaska Projects opens 6-8pm Thursday & Friday nights, 1-6pm on weekends.

NEARBY PLACES

  • List
  • Map

SIMILAR EVENTS

  • List
  • Map

NEARBY EVENTS

  • List
  • Map
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x