Pete Volich - E9E10

Exhibition: 14 May to 14 June, 2008

Pete Volich

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Pete Volich's subject matter favours everyday materials, scenarios and forms derived from the urban and suburban environment. Of interest to him is a re-valuing or re-claiming of that which is ordinary. He is influenced by Memento Mori and Vernacular photography and in how they have influenced the physicality and interpretation of the photographic form.

In his latest body of work Volich uses the site of Hackney Marsh, which is located directly adjacent to the new Olympic Park for the 2012 London games. Hackney Marsh is an area of grassland on the western bank of the River Lee in the London Borough of Hackney. The area is renowned for its ethnic, political and religious diversity. Activity within the marsh dates back to Roman times, where the river Lee was used as a trading port. It was originally a true marsh, but was extensively drained from medieval times, and raised to the ground by air raids during World War II. The marsh now acts as a reprieve from the sprawling city of London, offering playing fields, regenerated forests, and walkways for the local community to access.

Using photos and video, Volich has documented the underbelly of the marsh over the past ten months. He has made subtle intrusions into the landscape, using found detritus to construct poetic vignettes. The resulting work is a psycho-geographical portrait of the marsh, a document of its present state before it is consumed by the economic and social redevelopment of the Olympic spectacle.

This re-envisioning of detritus left behind in the quest for heroics is reminiscent of his series Tales from the rear view mirror, here we go again 2006, which featured framed sporting memorabilia and snapshots. These works played with both the idea of the antihero in a culture fixated with competition and masculinity, and the tradition of memento mori, which explores the sentiments and memories held within personal objects. In 2012:E9E10 Volich considers, and almost pre-mourns the social and cultural capital of the marsh before it disappears.

Pete Volich currently lives in London where he is undertaking a Skills & Arts Development Award from the Australia Council for the Arts and being mentored by the acclaimed film and video artist Isaac Julien. Pete has been selected for the Citigroup Photographic Portrait Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW and shortlisted for the RIPE ANZ Art Australia Award and the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship. He has exhibited throughout Australia as well as in Germany and Ireland.