Cover image of the review
Elizabeth Gower, *Postcard work*, 1977, 14 cut postcards, 3.5 x 2.2 cm each approx. Collection of McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery. Photo: Christian Capurro


7 Sep 2019
29 Jul - 10 Nov 2019

The 'serial,' or series, adopts numerous contemporary forms: from binge-worthy television series, countless iterations of Podcasts, ever-expanding adaptations of franchise cinema, to the systematic tendencies that were examined in the recent exhibition A New Order at Buxton Contemporary. Do the conditions of a fast-moving and increasingly chaotic world urge us to seek reprieve, order and familiarity? Is the series a conventional constraint or a structure providing liberation? How far can we reduce systems, patterns and readings without losing meaning? The current group exhibition Serial at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery probes notions of seriality as they arise in process, history, repetition and communication. The exhibition includes recent acquisitions and works from McClelland's collection that are presented across two galleries.

As Hal Foster suggests in The Crux of Minimalism (1996), we can think of seriality as signifying a response to the socio-economic developments of the post-war period. Or as an artistic gesture that resists high modernism and mass culture. It can also be an aesthetic response, or language, emerging from structuralism, post-structuralism and system aesthetics, where objects, lines, shapes, patterns, materials or concepts negotiate an implied system. In addition to these ideas, this exhibition also suggests that the process of seriality extends beyond Western Modernism to visual languages that intersect history, storytelling, memory and ceremony. In this way, serialism, networks, associations, repetition, grids, orders, patterns and narratives not only materialise in the individual works themselves but emerge through the grouping of works across both galleries.

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