Continuing work 2018-19

Constantly deferring objects, remade in another material / another finish, re-imaged in another setting; a different photographic referent. Clusters of objects as chains of signifiers, temporarily connected, always unstable and without determinate signifieds. Is not this not the curator’s anxiety, the historian’s impossibility; objects that have no definitive material, no fixed date, no definitive arrangement, an interchangeability of photographic referent and object reproduction, an uncertainty of title? Seemingly solid objects with visceral presence, handled and weighed as though picked up on the beach, on the side of the road or in architectural ruins. Thus the conundrum for the inscription of these objects as art; the floating signifier, deferred remains/reminders.



29 October – 5 November 2014

Monash Art Design and Architecture, Faculty Gallery

This exhibition presented three clusters of objects that came together momentarily for seven days. Textual weavings within the groups and across the groups refer to open systems of language that cut through the viewer. Substitution and displacement of the signifier occurs metaphorically and metonymically as elements of the subconscious made manifest through the absent (latent) body. In this regard, the body of the reader-writer is primary in processes of dispersal and displacement through language. All being found objects that are rematerialised through casting and print reproduction, their origins call into doubt the unified subject in as much as the materiality of the object functions as a textual deferral.

The exhibition comprised the practical component of Brett Jones’ PhD research

[More images and text]

Death town

death head 4 Demur instal

Scuttle in Subtle exhibition

Contemporary Art Tasmania

27 Tasma St. Hobart

9 August – 7-September 2014

In Subtle the object cast in bronze is not there, or at least not there in its physical form. Rather it appears as a photographic representation, Scuttle (2014). However, Scuttle is not a single object (or image), nor is it assigned to a particular referent. Scuttle is a word that undoes itself as it undoes the objects that are in a temporary combination for the exhibition Subtle.

Images and full text





Notes on the Index

Outward, Launceston, Tasmania

12 – 26 October 2013

This project takes as its departure point Rosalind E. Krauss’ Notes on the Index first published in 1976. Revisiting post-structuralist ideas around the dissolution of the Saussurean sign it proposes a reading beyond the indexical model of conceptual practice as discussed by Krauss. Instead proposing a critical evaluation of the indexical sign, it touches on Derrida’s ideas around différance, the supplement, the trace and cinders in order to transgress the expectation of the that-has-been inimical to photography and casting. Arguing that the trace as a linguistic figure cannot prove the existence of any prior object or event, the cinder is invoked as the ‘remainder without a remainder’ thereby short circuiting any attempts at locating an origin or source. The subject itself is dismantled in this process via the Lacanian real and objet petit a, and textualised by Barthes’ ruminations on jouissance and the rupturing potential of the Text. The objects and images in this exhibition are understood as visual texts to which a written text cuts through with presuppositions and positions important to the reading of the project; a writing that attempts to articulate the same ideas in its content and method. In this sense the visual texts of this project are but elements as traces of citations and references never really present.

Notes on the index publication     Notes on the Index page       More images





Recent objects

December 2012, Monash University

Objects from a recent post-graduate exhibition at Monash University. An assortment of objects on a low plinth accompanied by a wall piece and a group of objects with a photograph from the recent West Space exhibition ‘Thus’. This collection of objects has been improvised around the idea of signifiers on a bed. The plinth is the same proportions as a single bed, while the word association with something imbedded or bedded down plays on the instability of these objects and their possible connotations. The objects are all fragments, bits of text that come from other texts; on this bed (as a framing device) they attempt to weave intertextual relations. So the bed is a temporary resting place for these objects that are on a range of different oscillations; some have come from previous exhibitions, others are alternative castings/variations or in new combinations/arrangements. They come together momentarily for this exhibition, only to continue moving (the mobility of signifiance). And what remains is the photograph that suggests something that was, yet a photograph that refers to itself. While copies of copies keep multiplying.


21 September 2012 – 13 October 2012

This exhibition investigates the reliability of signs in the ‘documentation’ of sculptural objects. The gap between a photograph of the object and the object itself is explored through the idea of ‘a copy without an original’. This notion of the copy is extended to the objects themselves that are castings of objects and thus already detached from their referents, displaced from their original signification. The photographic image is not the same as the ‘thing’; it is something very different materially, perceptually and semiotically. We have embraced ideas of simulacra and the understanding that the sign is not the thing, and we are often skeptical about the construction of photographic images in the digital age. So why do we take photographic documentation of art objects as representing those same objects? Why do we presume that the photograph somehow captures, that it is indexed to an object?

We think we know what something is, but we only know the idea of what it may be. This exhibition questions the presumptions of why we take the photograph as evidence of a pre-existent object. Instead proposing the photograph as something quite independent and unique from the object it seems to refer.