Cover image of the review
Diego Ramirez, The Infinity of The Past, 2019. Neon; Nicholas Aloisio-Shearer, Reject Modernity, Embrace Tradition II: I Have Been In This Place Before, 2021. Jacquard woven tapestry, silicon, pigment, aluminium, resin and bronze pigment; Ange Jeffrey, Brothaboy Sistagirl, 2021. Brass, emu feathers, hemp, brass black; Ange Jeffrey, Murru, 2021. Brass, emu feathers, hemp, sterling silver. Image courtesy of the gallery. Photo: Lucy Foster

Aeon Resurrection

14 May 2022
19 Apr - 29 May 2022

The old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere “modernity” cannot kill.
—Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897.

We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind—mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods…
—J.G. Ballard, Crash, 1973.

In 1929, the City of Essendon commissioned Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony, architects trained alongside Frank Lloyd Wright, to build an incinerator along the bank of the Maribyrnong River. Though the building’s purpose was to house furnaces to burn the city’s waste, their aim was to create a beautiful yet inconspicuous structure. As Griffin summarised, “the final test of modernism is the replacement of industrial eyesores”. Decommissioned in 1942, the building remained empty until the mid 1980s when it became a hub for arts organisations. Today, its aggressive asymmetry houses Incinerator Gallery, a startlingly contemporary art space for the quiet western suburbs. Aeon Resurrection, curated by Jake Adam Treacy, is a poignant exhibition for the space. As explained in the curatorial text scrolling on a smashed monitor by the entrance, the exhibition explores “collective and rhizomatic future-making” as a means of imagining “reality beyond the human in the crepuscule aftermath of apocalypse”. The exhibition title is spray-painted in messy red letters across a crumpled plastic sheet strewn above the entry, haloed by barbed wire. As the architects intended, the chic modernist container conceals the chaos within.

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