In the dying days of the cold war, as the US and Russians began dismantling their weapons, the Soviet Union kept churning out biological weapons, zombie-like, into the emerging peace. Eastern Bloc's new show has something of that automated production and aftermath in its new, small show WUNDERCRETE.
Sophie Clague's Shifting Grounds crafts a model metropolis that looks like a playground for one of those Soviet plagues. Actually inspired by the plague of vacant construction holes that dot and dotted Sydney, she imagines a city where the holes have taken charge and their inhabitants can't return. A green, gauze fabric lies across this cityscape, punctured by metal stakes that reach up like towers across a miniaturised topography. At the centre sit die cut metal slabs, etched like circuit boards. It suggests a reimagined city whose underneath holds shops and apartments perfectly preserved as rubble. Clague's upcoming Site at Kudos will also explore a similar theme, picking through the rubble of the current COFA renovation.
Artist Lizzie Thomson is also interested in the remains of art. Often found using dance strokes in art, for The Explorer she confines herself to movement's aftermath. At the centre of her show is a neon-green safety suit. Empty feet encased in cement and lying on its back, it sits relaxed like a cicada shell. Around its outstretched palms a series of concrete objects lie littered: an open pyramid, a kangaroo paw sticking out of a spherical segment. The artefacts and the suit are arrayed like a series of clues, setting out a Snicket-like aftermath of some mob action against an absent performance artist. Alongside, a simple motor and tube look ready to reinflate it. The debris suggests a trip to the bottom of the harbour. Thomson waits, alive and friendly, in the next room.
Eastern Bloc is open Thursday - Saturday, 11-5.
Image of Lizzie Thomson's 'The Explorer' by Emma Price.