This artwork is about itself but not as an isolated phenomenon akin to existing in a vacuum. This self-referential state is predominantly framed by the work’s fast-moving animated text, also operating in what could be considered as the artwork’s primary narrative. This animated text responds to the artwork’s active and time-based relationship to the public, at the moment of encounter. Ideas of authoring an artwork with the intention of affecting its audience (whether that is via materiality, mode of encounter, visibility of its author, context of its presentation and/or other influencing factors) drove the broader narrative of Event/Affect and that of the expanded, first iteration of 2018.
Exhibited at Seventh’s gallery (then) Gertrude street location, this first iteration included the attempted rediversion of the artist fee, as economic capital, to a Gertrude St related ‘Not For Profit’ organisation, Whitelion. This gesture, as a formal part of the work, responded to the idea of affecting a public in a socio-cultural, qualitative manner via the artwork. The distribution of the artist fee was a gesture that was purposely in contrast to the idea of a qualitative social-cultural change within the individual thought to potentially exist (as part of the intentionally affective artwork) at the moment of encounter. Event/Affect formalised its intended affect in the diversion of its artist fee. As a side note, this capital did not come to affect the economic capital of Whitelion via encountering, what could be considered, the bureaucratic boundary of the unanswered email. Given the benefit of time, and apart from the potential qualitative affects of both iterations, the economic capital exchanged for the Cultural capital and labour of both iterations has come to be purely a quantitative exchange, for now.
Courtesy of Mars Gallery
Steven Rhall is a post-conceptual artist operating from a First Nation, white-passing, cis male, positionality working on Woiwurrung and Wathaurung lands. Rhall explores ideas of cultural and other forms of capital exchange in the matrix of relations situated at intersections of artwork production, presentation and encounter. He interrogates modes of representation, classification and hierarchy using a broad range of interventions including installation, performance, process led methodologies, curatorial projects, sculpture and public art. Rhall exhibits internationally, lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts, is a PhD candidate at Monash University on Birrarung-ga land (Melbourne, Australia).