Exhibitions / Material

09.08.2016 to 03.09.2016

PDF catalogue available by clicking here


Showing at THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery 9 August - 3 September 2016

To enquire about available works please click here


Welcome to Material.

The year is 2002. In a sea of tabloid-scaled contemporary art magazines, Material reaches its 23rd edition, a special issue profiling acts of transformation. Within its pages, artists and art collectives explore the potential of embodied characterisations to foster new ways of seeing, thinking and expression.

I began thinking about the paintings for Material with that short description in mind, visualising a magazine that might offer a chance to work outside what I imagine to be my own capacity.

I developed names for imaginary artists and collectives that might populate its pages, around which small worlds gradually grew. The names spawned fictional biographies, reproduced here, that suggested the kinds of artistic practices that each artist might be involved in.

I acted out these practices in character, and documented what emerged. The images captured during these sessions underwent editing- although I remain present in most of them, my body has been disfigured through cropping, morphing, blurring and removal, while the presence of the imagined artists has become more palpable through the addition of superimposed quotes written on their behalf.

Although the artists that feature in Material are somewhat like me - sharing particular traits, exaggerating others - they perform actions that I’d be unlikely to normally undertake and reach out to the world in unexpected ways.

Through the process they have become almost tangible, habitable, flesh and blood people. I’m pleased to introduce you to them.

Chris Bond, Melbourne 2016


Arlo Alston

Arlo Alston stages elaborately sequenced performances where pairs of fluorescent light tubes are twirled in complex patterns before being smashed together. While on the surface the performances appear formal, they are anything but: Alston pre-loads the tubes with air expelled by mediums who claim to be able to breathe on behalf of the dead and inhales the gases as they escape. His large format rear-projections of these ritualistic events are often accompanied by ear-splitting soundtracks, where every pass of the fluorescent tube through the air is caught as a roar and the moment of impact a startlingly loud explosion. Alston’s long-standing interest in psychics, mediums and out of body experiences has led to the publication of several books, most recently on the potential of the ‘dead breath’ to offer the living the chance psychically project themselves into the memories and life experiences of the deceased.


Martin Meeks

By day, Martin Meeks works as an assistant librarian at Boston’s Sigilla Occult Library, but by nightfall he is an entirely different creature. Meeks is a therian, a condition of species dysphoria marked by an animal rather than human self-identification. A trip to the zoo in early childhood left him profoundly shaken: as he approached an enclosure containing an ocelot - a nocturnal wildcat - he experienced an overwhelming sensation of biological familiarity, which later evolved into a belief that he’d been born into the wrong body. But Meeks is no scene-playing furry. He doesn’t feel the need for costume or communality; instead, he spends most nights in the wilderness hunting alone, setting up cameras and trip wires in advance to catch hard evidence of his real form. He has transformed his home into a series of interconnecting cave-like structures made of tree branches, where he deposits the carcasses of his prey and rests. These structures were replicated by Meeks in the Boston Museum of Contemporary Art in 2004, alongside his night photography in the exhibition Shapeshifter.   


Catherine Crouch

In Catherine Crouch’s insular world, the tactile experience of working with cloth transports her back in time to the post-minimalist 1970s, where she communicates with Eva Hesse, Richard Serra and Robert Morris, amongst others. Crouch works in a controlled environment where temperature is maintained at 45°C and humidity close to 10%, keeping her fabric incredibly dry and her mind susceptible to hallucination. Imagined experience is favoured over actual impact, and as a result, weeks are spent in the studio, musing and conversing, with no material outcome. She works only standing up. She has little interest in contemporary artistic practices and refuses to engage with technologies and materials not available to artists of the 1960s and 70s. Increasingly she feels that her body is not flesh and blood, but woven and folded. The few works she produces expand on this notion: garment-like objects made of interwoven fabrics that recall cellular structures and strange arrangements of muscles.   


Magick Mountain Art Collective

Comprising four Sydney art school dropouts, the Magick Mountain Art Collective first came to prominence in 1998 when its members became lost on a drug-fuelled excursion to the Blue Mountains. The trip proved significant- a few days before they were eventually found, they claim to have stumbled across a ‘magick mountain’, a rocky outcrop that apparently cracked open before them. Within its centre they found a book of shamanistic rituals that quickly became the core of their performance practice. In the years following, the group travelled extensively through suburban areas searching for remnants of untouched nature, attempting to shape-shift into animals, trees, rocks and soil in an attempt to heal what they call the ‘scars of humanity.’ Most of their ritual performances are private and survive only in the form of lengthy, highly stylised videos.


Rebecca Rodrigues

Following her release in 1998 from a Scottish mental institution for a series of bizarre home invasions that involved re-organising the possessions of strangers, Rebecca Rodrigues fell under the tutelage of noted art therapist Monica Sanders, who encouraged patients in her post-release program to ‘self-document and self-heal’ through photography. Rodrigues took to the medium quickly and adeptly, breaking into homes to feed her compulsion, documenting her activities with the camera. While Sanders was apparently aware of her patient’s regression into criminal activity, she continued to encourage her progress as she believed that it might have a rehabilitative quality. Authorities eventually pressed charges in 2001 after she was discovered by relatives of a recently deceased woman, singing to her clothes in a bedroom.

Rebecca Rodrigues 2016 by Chris Bond

Rebecca Rodrigues  2016

oil on linen

40 x 28 cm

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Material 2016 by Chris Bond

Material  2016

oil on linen

40 x 28.5 cm

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Martin Meeks 2016 by Chris Bond

Martin Meeks  2016

oil on linen

40 x 28 cm

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Arlo Alston 2016 by Chris Bond

Arlo Alston  2016

oil on linen

40 x 28 cm

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Catherine Crouch 2016 by Chris Bond

Catherine Crouch  2016

oil on linen

40 x 28 cm

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