Cover image of the review
Patrick Pound, The museum of there, not there (detail), 2020, found objects, dimensions variable. Photograph: Andrew Curtis. Courtesy the artist and STATION.

Patrick Pound, The Museum of there, not there

2 May 2020
25 Apr - 23 May 2020

Currently on show in the closed South Yarra premises of STATION, Patrick Pound’s solo exhibition The Museum of there, not there provided the perfect opportunity for the artist to tease and frustrate his viewers. While Pound’s show was scheduled in pre-virus times to coincide with the now-postponed PHOTO2020 festival, the COVID-19 lockdown dictated that the exhibition must be staged online or not at all. Pound has recently made some forays into the digital realm. Together with artist Rowan McNaught he produced (2017), for example, a website and image search algorithm that uses photographs from Pound’s collection as a starting point to generate increasingly eccentric chains of “similar” online images. It would presumably have been possible to stage an online show of such born-digital works. However, with STATION’s gallery spaces rendered out-of-bounds, the artist opted instead to rework two physical collection pieces that thematise their own inaccessibility.

An earlier iteration of The Museum of there, not there (2020), which gives the exhibition its title, was included in Pound’s solo show, The Great Exhibition, at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2017. Photography and Air (2020) also reworks the Museum of Air (2013) in the NGV collection. Like most of Pound’s works, they are installations of found images and objects drawn from the artist’s immense personal collection, and like much of his practice they riff on themes of presence and absence. Re-presented here together behind STATION’s closed doors, the two works now seem to have always anticipated their own disappearance from visibility at the very moment of their public exhibition.

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