Mark Kimber - All That Glisters

Exhibition: 2 June to 3 July, 2010

Mark Kimber

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Mark Kimber has been exhibiting since 1986. He has had numerous solo exhibitions and has exhibited internationally. He is the Studio Head of Photography and New Media, South Australian School of Art, University of South Australia. His work is collected in various public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Parliament House Collection, Monash Gallery of Art, Albury Regional Gallery and the London Institute.

Mark Kimber’s new work is fanciful and serious in equal measure. The photographs in All That Glisters present hermetically sealed mini dioramas that speak of our need to place value upon, control, and create memorabilia within our lives.

An astronaut/rock star like figure in a glistening gold jacket stands in the theatrical posture of a seasoned performer mid song. He happens to be a small figurine standing on a red carpet enclosed in a curved oblong glass jar, his innate sense of heroic freedom at odds with his captivity. There is the familiarity of an awards night, the Oscars perhaps, in this elegant object.

Vanitas refers to a type of still life consisting of a collection of objects that symbolise death, the brevity of human life and the transience of earthly pleasures and achievements. Suffused with melancholy, these objects of vanitas carry a regret for lost things - lost hopes, lost ideals, lost aspirations. They also speak of the cultural pressures placed upon the masculine gender.

Mark Kimber has looked at issues of masculinity in earlier work. In Night Falls (2003) he employed male dolls as models to simulate real scenes which presented a theatre of masculinity. In Fictive Landscapes he wrote “The gap between memory and experience, between then and now or between imagination and realisation, is, of course unbridgeable but that doesn’t stop us from trying.”