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Dr. Kyle Jenkins: The Act of Things That Aren’t There

Cara-Ann Simpson ‘The Act of Things That Aren’t There’

The work of Cara-Ann Simpson is about constructing environments where the ephemeral nature of experience is explored. This exploration forms a seminal material within the reading of the work ‘Noise Cancellation: disrupting audio perception’ as this installation questions the relationship between public and private space as an architectural metaphor for spatial collage. This is done by creating objects that have a physical and sonic construction.

The validity of Simpson’s work is to question its own existence within a site-specific context creating a composition that isn’t about sound as music but about sound as object. The work is suspended within a particular time and space where an interruption between various elements meets and overlaps, leading to a transformation of the object into an observational landscape. This landscape is constructed through the audio which creates a spatial collage that juxtaposes and knits together disparate aural elements from inaudible whispers, the clatter of the site and the viewer’s physical presence within the space. This form of sonic collage transforms the actual physical reality of the object sitting in the gallery space. The object now must be read as not only just a Post-minimalist form but also as an object transmitting a signal which creates an assemblage of readings and meanings within the installation. It is from this point that the work creates a stage that is set up to rebuild the understanding of the object from its concrete and aural realities.

What Simpson’s work achieves, is to shift the roles of interior and exterior space in relation to the viewer. In this context the anticipated boundaries between object, gallery and viewer are shifted within the exhibition space. Thus there is a fluctuation between concrete reality (that of the object as a Post-minimalist sculpture) and the audio (as an elevation of ordinary sound to form a mapping of experience). The work thus acts as a temporal vessel inhabiting the gallery space but also the physical space of the viewer as the work is to be experienced through a duality of reading. This duality is created through the viewing of the audio speaker both as an object and as audio sound that creates an ephemeral collage.

Simpson’s ‘Noise Cancellation: disrupting audio perception’ is an evolving installation that is constantly being repositioned within an immediacy of collaged space, where a highly structured object meets with the uncontrolled experience of the viewer. In this context the work can be seen as an ‘act’ carried out through the positioning of one object and its relationship to the abstract behaviour of the viewers’ patterns of movement and dialogue. This ‘act’ becomes an ongoing transient process of imbedding conceptual intention within the randomness of an individual’s viewing and listening experience. It is within this frame that the work acts to form indistinguishable ways of experiencing the duality between an object and its ephemeral construction of spatial dialectics.

Written by:
Kyle Jenkins
Toowoomba, 2009


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