In October 2015 I participated in the 2016 Brisbane Artist-Run Festival. A space became available for a site specific work at 14 Helen Street in Teneriffe, Brisbane. An old coclear implant factory that has become the spiritual home for artists and co-creatives, and throughout October was a key venue for the festival.
Inspired by the work of artist Gus Eagleton, two women poised to kiss included in the documentation here I set about to make a wunderkammer style archive about the AXIS Art Projects “Does New York Exist? artist-run project I was involved in with artists Jay Younger and Lehan Ramsay in 1987-1989. Lehan’s untimely death this year has been cause for some reflection of the intensity of collaboration we were involved with over many years.
I designed the wall-based installation to feature Gus’s work, to me this inspiring street art work is a direct link to the street art scene we were involved with and documented in the 1980s. It was different then, at a time when street art was demonised, vilified and illegal.
It was the Outside Art exhibition of street art interventions from No Se No gallery, curated by Malcolm Enright and Toyo Tsuchiya and artist Kate Tastrophe that was one of the key motivation for the AXIS Art Projects, and the guerrilla tactics we employed, bypassing the Sydney-Melbourne centred conversation in Australia and beginning a direct global conversation.
The Axis Art Projects, Does New York Exist? BNE-NYC 1988-2016 Wunderkammer #1 installation included a number of past present future curatorial elements and was staged on a paper stage below Gus Eagleton’s 2016 “make art not war” work, a mixed-up transcript of an interview with New Museum Director Marcia Tucker we recorded in 1988, at a time when the idea of the re-imagined museum/institution was gaining considerable momentum.
Some of the curatorial elements or insights included in the wunderkammer were the Outside Art catalogue and promotional flyer designed by Malcolm Enright and a series of re-authored analogue to digital video art works ( digital super eight), a series of AXIS art project tee shirts with archival photos featured as the slogan artwork and a range of related ephemera and re-imagined and re-authored photo documentation. Including one of a series of documentary style photographs of mine taken during a series of visits to 2B The Garage located in the East Village. I was particularly keen at the time to document public art work in NYC.
At the time of writing this account I am currently preparing for a second iteration of this wunderkammer archival work for the Epicormia Collective: The Re-authoring Impulse exhibition in November December, it will include a series of additional AXIS Home Movies found footage.