WOLAND

Woland Born again was conceived in 2007 as part of the series ARTLABPROJECT  curated by Robert Mangion. It was the first in a series of annual exhibitions, which featured the work of contemporary artists with an eye on current tendencies in art practice. Other artist in the project included Hartmut Veit, Garry Solomon, Karen West and Gerlee Scanlan. The project provided a forum for new curatorial and artistic practice and strategies.

 

The concept explored in Woland Born again mine the notions of identity and metamorphisms, folklore narrative and urban transgression. Drawn from Russian literature during the cold war under Stalin’s regime. Woland is the name Miknail Bulgakiov gave to the devil. Bulgakiov uses Woland’s character as a literary metaphor for examining not only the ambiguous relationship between good and evil in contemporary culture, but also the ambivalent nature of metamorphosis as it is applied to self-identity. Mangion works across mediums including video installation, drawing and lens based practice. His research investigates narrative structures, duration and performativity and the reverberation of visual signs in culture. For this project a series of six works on paper depicting the exploits of an unspecified narrative were accompanied by nine photographic prints centered on the figure of "Woland" as he enacts an attempt to "empty the world of meaning". A text based painting with the words ‘It existed once and will exist again” painted in black on a red ground is accompanied by a single channel video installation. The video projected through a small monitor is installed in a white case and is marked by silence and languorous travelling movements. The hand held camera captures an ambiguous walk through forest and shrub land at night, taken over a twelve-hour period. Seen as a whole the installation offers a complex response to the question of how artworks visualize and incorporate transitive strategies, which expresses how a performative action passes over to an object.