Media office

Archives 2010
Archives 2009
Archives 2008
Archives 2007
Archives 2006
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000

There is a MACK truck
in the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Saturday 7 August to Monday 4 October 2004

A new contemporary project by Sydney artist James Angus

James Angus in front of MACK truck, AGNSW

Have you ever thought about a soccer ball dropped from 35,000 feet? Or a rhinoceros that's fluorescent yellow placed with its feet perpendicular to the floor? A cast and sculptured swimming manta ray with undulating wings? James Angus has. For his exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Angus has squeezed a MACK truck into the Level 2 Contemporary Project space, sandwiching it between the two doorways.

Whether animal, building or balloon, Angus' assorted discursions are factored around implausibility. Of course we�ll by no means witness in 'reality' a manta ray cast in plaster and we'll never really observe a yellow rhinoceros. But this isn't the point. The point is that Angus asks us to question what we do know, to look from a different vantage point or perspective. His objects provoke questions, are information to be sorted through, or perhaps even intuit or marvel at - the simulated flow of the wings and smoothness of the manta ray's surface are wondrous; so too is the improbability of positioning a truck in that small Contemporary Project space.

Yet why has Angus chosen a truck? The artist has been thinking about trucks for over a decade and this exhibition provides the impetus and the environment in which to realise his idea. Trucks are laden with metaphor and association, occupying a noteworthy place in the contemporary popular imagination, not to mention the notion of 'truck' culture in Australian society. The most distinguishing characteristic of a truck, though, is that it moves and transports vast amounts of produce or materials from one place to another.

Yet Angus' simulated truck can�t go anywhere. It's literally stuck between the space of two entrances, slotted in and therefore defunct, stripped of its purpose. The truck is sculpture; placed in a gallery context, it is an interventionist object that occupies real time and space. Yet in this manufactured environment and in our interaction with it, the truck becomes an object, an immoveable conglomeration of bright colours and shiny metal that is at once familiar but through shifts in time and space becomes uncanny and misplaced.

Angus' sculptures play around with the nebulous categories of fact and fiction, in the spaces between what we know to be true and what is really there. His practice is an illusionistic ploy, teasing possibilities from seemingly unlikely scenarios and playing tricks with the eyes by employing disorientating visual strategies to do with scale, space, form and colour.

Angus has been exhibiting his work since 1991. In 1998 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, completing a Master of Fine Arts (sculpture) at Yale University School of Art in the United States. In addition to solo exhibitions at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Gavin Brown�s Enterprise, New York, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery New Plymouth, New Zealand, Angus' work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Face Up: Contemporary Art from Australia, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2003), Still Life: Inaugural Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2003), Biennale of Sydney (2003) and The Age of Influence, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2003).

This exhibition is the third in a series of projects to be supported by Clayton Utz. The first project resulted in the commissioning and purchase for the permanent contemporary collection of a major work by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. The second project facilitated an exhibition and acquisition of a video installation by Susan Norrie entitled Undertow.

Thanks to MACK for the truck. Exhibition supported by Clayton Utz.

On view:7 August until 4 October 2004
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain, Sydney
Telephone:(02) 9225 1744 or
recorded information (02) 9225 1790
Nationwide tollfree 1800 679 278
Hours:10am to 5pm 7 days a week
Art After Hours until 9pm every Wednesday
Media Information and Interviews:Jan Batten, Press Office
Telephone (02) 9225 1791
or 0418 279 348
Images available on request

IMAGE CREDIT: James Angus in front of MACK truck, Lower Level 2 Project Space, Art Gallery of New South Wales. Photo Credit: Diana Panuccio, Art Gallery of New South Wales.