Alex Martinis Roe
non-writing histories

1 Feb – 11 Mar 2012

Above: Alex Martinis Roe, 'non-writing histories', documentation of encounter event, 10 February 2012, Artspace, Sydney. Photo: silversalt photography.
43–51 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia

In non-writing histories Alex Martinis Roe attempts to highlight gender political operations of non-representation and abstraction by examining the performative effect of non-representational work, which is not often made explicit in criticism or history, and not often in feminist criticism, which historically has engaged primarily with the politics of representation. Using aesthetics that do not signify constitutes what does signify – ie, what is comprehensible language is constituted through its exclusions. Abstraction, as an attempted aesthetic language of the universal, is paradoxically achieved through an exclusion of language and the commodification of what is not representable, ie not language: nature, femininity and non-Western cultures – the universal Other to communicable language. Through the production of abstractions using historical narratives, the artist extrapolates these conditions of non-representation and gestures toward a different meaning for abstraction.

non-writing histories will include a sound installation produced by a series of actions that the artist undertakes in the gallery space – highlighting the mode of the sound’s production. These actions will link the project to a genealogy of artworks in such a way as to highlight a gender political history of non-representation and to show the contingency of the artist’s authorship upon others.