Seven artists use paintings, sculpture, performance and video to explore, humorously or not, the various chemical, alchemical, material, magical and metaphorical dimensions of cheese. Artists were curated for their artistic practices and also for an attitude that would be open and eccentric enough to consider the many ramifications and properties of cheese as a classic substance and subject for art.
Cheese is a transformative and metaphoric substance, which, in the context of this exhibition is centrally abject – think of the stink, the quasi-molten, the mould and bacteria. The magic of cheese lies in the transformation of a base substance into something that is both highly-prized commercially and considered a sensual delicacy. The border between disgust and desire elicited by cheese can be thought of as Surrealist – no wonder that Dali’s ‘Persistence of Memory’ (a work iconically central to the movement) transforms watches into camembert. Cheese, like time, is unstable; hard or soft, dry or molten, crumbling or blooming.
This exhibition takes a playful approach to art making and curation, while drawing connections to serious issues, and showcases the work of seven highly regarded artists from Australia, New Zealand and Austria.
What better place to explore the artistic properties of cheese, than in Tasmania?
Artists featured in this exhibition are Stephen Birch, Alex Gawronski, Sean Kerr, Petra Maitz, Daniel McKewen, Jelena Telecki, Justene Williams, it is curated by Alex Gawronski and Justine Williams .
Big Cheese is presented by Contemporary Art Tasmania and Dark Mofo.