2001 — A DOMESTIC ODYSSEY

Louise Jennison
Wednesday 21st of February – Saturday 10th of March, 2001
MASS gallery, 142 Queens Parade, North Fitzroy

 
 
2001 — A Domestic Odyssey serves as a pun on all predictions of the 21st century being one of technological advances that would have us flying our own spaceships and being masters of robots who would vacuum our houses and pour our cocktails, as predicted in the last century. Though technology is a major part of our 21st century lives, domestic intimacy, personal relationships, and human emotion has not yet been erased.
Louise Jennison 2001
 

2001 A Domestic Odyssey is a suspended moment ... a slice of time that has captured a moment in itself. Through the use of visual poetics and watercolour, Louise Jennison has utilised various mediums by removing them for their original high art appeal and utilising them in a momentary context. Through this she has created a transient portrait of domestic life.

This exhibition captures the spirit of a time, a place, an air of circumstance in a type of wunderkamma space where the viewer is invited to share and perhaps compare their domestic realm in an abstraction of the human condition. In the tradition of Fluxus, Jennison dissolves the boundaries held between art and life, in 5 simple conceptual possibilities.

One hour, one day & one week are transcriptions of events written directly onto the gallery's walls. This piece creates the action & momentum, which binds the domestic odyssey and allows its progression into the ritual of the everyday.

List of everything in our home, is a catalogue of domestic possessions. The initial impression that this piece conjures is that of one of a fastidious documentation categorised by object, written densely on water paper. However, under closer examination, the list is documented straight from the artist's perception of the object, whilst being mechanical in its execution With this, the viewer is transported into artist's domestic space. The objects are listed in terms of their individual appeal, not by their material or usage. In turn, List of everything in our home moves from a list of objects, to a catalogue of the subconscious relationship the owner has with that object - all those bits and pieces that makes a house into a home. The viewer is transported into the artist's space. As if you are visiting the artist's house for the first time and asked in retrospect what you may remember seeing.

Transcriptions of my travel journal is a symbol of memories which are held in a domestic space ... all those things taken from life and preserved into a certain significance through the act of keeping a diary - a personal history that is reflected upon in the familiarity of domesticity. As this 'Hog Log' is a travel diary of Jennison's journey to Portugal, the domestic space is reconfirmed ... no matter how far you can travel, in terms of livability the homes provides a classic where comparisons are drawn that expose the human condition.

20.12.00 18.02.01 is a series of 100 water colour paintings depicting scenes of the domestic odyssey housework, the cats, the dog, the visitors, the outings, the family ... with all their idiosyncrasies. This piece reconfirms the transcentual ritual of the domestic realm ... every moment no matter how mundane it seems is integral to the existence of the domestic system. A system which would have been predicted as defuctorary by 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Gracie's dreams transcribed like a List of everything in our home, communicates as another visual poetic. Jennison has transcribed Gracia's dreams from a dictaphone into densely written text with the precursory impression being that of fastidiousness, almost mechanical in its precision. However this effect of precision counteracts the lucid and the all to human nature of the dialogue.

 
Good morning, I had some quite weird dreams ... guinea pig swimming in turbulent water ... um he was really tall, sort of middle aged, albino man, he stepped out and scared me ... I must have lagged behind.


All those external influences that are experienced on a day to day level, most particularly through the media, feed the subconscious and are exposed through a dream. The domestic space is a place where these fragments of our subconscious are released and at times realised.

Jennison's aim was to portray document the daily frivolity and joy of one's private life ... an intimacy and candid honesty (which) would reveal domestic ritual and comfort as a celebration of all that is to be human. Louise Jennison has exposed her domestic realm into a series of idiosyncrasies, which transports the viewer beyond her work. This sectional view holds the momentum of the past, distils it in a moment to communicate a consensus of its fragility and its certainty.

Due to the spread of mass literacy, to television and the transistor radio, our sensitivities have changed. The very complexity of this impact gives us a taste for simplicity, for an art which is based on the underlying images that an artist has always used to make his point ... We are asking for a new way of looking at things, but more totally, since we are more impatient and more anxious to go to the basic images. This explains the impact of Happenings, event pieces, mixed media films. We do not ask any more to speak magnificently or taking arms against a sea of troubles, we want to see it done. The art which most directly does this is the one which allows this immediacy, with a minimum of distractions ...

Dick Higgins, extract from his Statement on Intermedia, New York, 3 August 1966

Emma Leigh Winterburn, 2001