A History of Forgetting | ADJUSTING MARGINS : ARI REMIX + EXTRA ZINE at OUTER SPACE OPEN DAY | ENTER OUTER SPACE | WHEN: 11:00am – 7:00pm Saturday 8 October 2022.
I was thrilled and delighted – with just a wee tinge of sadness, grief and loss – to present a new art installation ADJUSTING MARGINS : ARI REMIX + EXTRA ZINE at the OUTER SPACE OPEN DAY | ENTER OUTER SPACE celebrations 11:00am – 7:00pm on Saturday 8 October 2022. Made lovingly through August to October 2022 with Joanna Kambourian an Australian born designer, printmaker and multi-dimensional visual artist of Armenian American heritage
On the cusp of a SEQ artist-run initiative of local reknown transitioning into a new Australian contemporary art organisation it was consoling to know that this local transitioning process was also one which explicitly celebrated collective memory, foundational storytelling, affective bonds and collaborative reminiscence. It is another example of the bottom-up cultural change process happening in the SEQ Queensland contemporary art ecology.
Making this new series of posters as a type of community archives installation was a challenge. It was in this liminal setting using a queer lens to emphasize an example of the witnessing accounts of poet, writer and social observer Peter Anderson which provided a sense of hope and transformation. For me re-reading and remixing this article on the second anniversary of Peter’s sudden passing in October 2020 was about providing an iterative account of embodied longitudinal knowledge, one stemming from the local DIY grassroots.
In the article Peter describes his persistent interest in cultural amnesia, and how ‘little bits of information’ slip through the cracks of memory. Poster Ten in the series (depicted above, from an initial series of twelve) features a photocopy of an article written by Peter Anderson for Artlink in 2003. It conveys aspects of institutional critique and an ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’ (Lyotard, 1984) threaded throughout Peter’s creative outputs for almost five decades. It also transmits a ‘little story’ (Lyotard, 1984) of testimony about a city – and a region – transformed by the art and punk scenes of the 1970s to 1990s, where SEQ artist-run space activity was firmly grounded.
In her book Adjusted Margins; from which this new iterative installation series draws it’s title, author Kate Eichhorn describes the democratising ethos of xerography which made it convenient and affordable for “renegade” publishers, zinesters, artists and artist groupings, punks, anarchists, queers, feminists, street activists, among others to publish their work and to get their messages out on the street. Re-presenting a stapled photocopy of Peter’s 2003 article – one from a hidden litany of keen observations – is something I know would delight him, and as Eichhorn argues today, even though we now live in what is perhaps, ‘a post-xerographic era’, the grassroots aesthetics, political legacy and queer orientations of xerography persists in the digital space.
This article depicts the important work of Jay Younger featuring the ” Q. What is The V.A.B.Policy on Qld Visual Arts? ” 1986. Screenprint poster series from The Demolition Show, The Observatory, Brisbane Meeanjin, May 1986.
Anderson, P. (2003). A history of forgetting. Artlink, 23(2), 24-25.
Eichhorn, K. (2016). Adjusted margin: Xerography, art, and activism in the late twentieth century. MIT Press.
Lyotard, J. F. (1984). The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge (Vol. 10). U of Minnesota Press.
Paul Andrew, October 30 2022
B.14 November 1958 – D. 30 October 2020
Vale Peter Anderson – In memory of beloved poet, artist, songwriter, independent arts writer and curator, 2012 Inaugural Siganto Fellow – please share your personal tributes about Peter below