An Unnatural History of Nature
An exhibition of ceramic and video work by Sydney College of the Arts lecturers Adam Geczy and Jan Guy.
The exhibition presents delicate ceramics, made from fine bone china, alongside video works and photography in an installation exploring museology, the construction of nature and the agonistic human relationship between nature and mediation. At the core of this exhibition is the Ceramic Surgerysuite, exotic birds made of bone china. The bones from which the ceramic is made have been obtained from the familiar, prosaic birds that we eat: turkey, chicken, quail. These works speak of a transformation; tales of the alteration of nature, a wager between humans and nature in which human hubris usually gets more than it bargained for. These generic birds have metamorphosed into ones of beauty but at the price of their stasis: they sit entombed within their glass domes. The stands and vitrine have been purpose built; their style is vaguely Art Nouveau, extracted from an era of ‘art-for-art’s sake’ and decadence, in which the synthetic took precedence over the natural. Other components to this work are photography, video and drawing. The work offers an image of unfettered nature, but crucially, they are intangible and transient; a foil to the inscrutable yet lovely deadness of their counterparts made of bone china.