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Margaret Whitlam Galleries

Perfect Looking An exhibition featuring works by David Cubby

Like an eagle

David Cubby
Digital Print
(Paris Flea Market, France)
2012
30 x 20.77 cm

Maria and Bogdan Kalinowski

David Cubby
Digital Print
(Polish National Gallery, Poznan, Poland)
2012
30 x 20 cm

She was perfect looking

David Cubby
Digital Print
(Voie George Pompidou, Paris, France)
2012
30 x 21.52 cm

Perfect Looking

David Cubby
Digital Print
(Polish National Gallery, Poznan, Poland)
2012
30 x 17.34 cm

Venue
The Margaret Whitlam Galleries, within the Female Orphan School (Building EZ) (View Map)
Date
26 Nov 2012 - 1 Mar 2013
Open
Monday - Friday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm by appointment

This exhibition comprises sixteen letters and images titled Perfect Looking from an exhibition at the UWS Parramatta Campus Female Orphanage Gallery 26 November/1 March 2012. The end project will comprise a much larger set of letters and images for publication titled Letters to Photography that I imagine formatted as a book and/or some new way to exhibit text and image, as well as online.

I am still working out how to assemble this work, perfectly so to speak, and it’s a corollary of the way I still don’t know or care very much how to function socially as an artist. The (post)modern culture of specialism, that includes artist, tends to assume an ‘expert’ performing hermetically within their discrete field, inheritor of a vertiginous pantheon of artistic antecedents without reference beyond the bounds of ‘their’ legacy. In the context of a persistent modernity, the social contraption of expertise affixes industrialization of tradition through education and careerism that ends as cruelly dissolute as the connoisseurship and valorisation of the ideal that it succeeded.

Eventually, post-modernity accelerates a simultaneous drive in lateral alignment so that history is compressed contemporaneously, contained within a variously unanticipated electro-digital, neo-industrial revolution. Media blooms on unprecedented scale across a plateau of perpetual interactivity and flat earth globalism, absorbing future as well as past.

Entering the stem of this dark flower I learn that within, my muse can only ever be instantaneous. In split millisecond, it is possible to glimpse a double helix of substance and its shadow cast: knowledge-information, communication-virtual, thinking-distraction, science-data, art-entertainment. Reflect on those sparkling stars light years away, but close by the shimmering braid you can only witness showers of dust spiralling into vacuum. Look back to see the shimmering braid from whence you came, before disappearing into night.

I never succeeded as a compliant functionary. My muse was never pure, aside from all of those warm accredited histories of art that I knew from childhood my inspiration lay direct with suburbia, walls and parks, fields and farmland, schools and classrooms, railways and cityscape, television and film, caravans and bicycles, museums and libraries, canals and rivers, photographs and drawing, fairgrounds and dance halls, football crowds and stadiums.

I am delighted to have rediscovered some snippets of Ian Nairn of the BBC series from the late sixties/early seventies Nairn’s Travels, a genius way ahead of schedule. Nairn was a vulnerable, brilliant man who could opinionate anywhere and nowhere about a wall, a garage or a railway station - places at the edge of zero entropy, decay into space – lyrical documentary.

Perfect Looking. When I am dead this is what I shall miss the most. I recognize now that I was not born to rule or judge but to observe, to see, to look and describe. I am looking at a world into which I have arrived, shaped as all are shaped from the vibration of countless atoms. It seems, some particles stabilize momentarily, slowing the rate of decay, suspending an effect we call the present, positing a conscious mind and self, dawdling between past, future and subconscious. This is the only world I can know and, for now, we are looking perfect.

Artist statement by David Cubby, (November 2012)