Images 1993-2001

Sonambiente Penthause1
Michael Graeve
Penthouse and Pavement, Melbourne
Painting and sound installation
7 double-sided paintings (oil on cotton, reflecting the fluorescent light off the painted surface back onto the ceiling), 4-channel sound composition (2 CD’s varying length, indeterminate interaction)
Photography: Jeremy Dillon

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Michael Graeve
Painting and sound installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Exhibited in Primavera 2001, curated by Gail Hastings
24 panels (oil on linen), 8-channel indeterminate sound composition (4 CD’s varying lengths,
4 CD players, 4 amplifiers, 8 loudspeakers)
12 panels 2130mm x 310mm (84" x 12"), 12 panels 1520mm x 310mm (12" x 60")


Michael Graeve
"Sound Wall"
Linden Arts Center, Melbourne, Australia
Loudspeakers, paintings
Installation dimensions vary


Michael Graeve
Hexagram 12: Heaven and Earth Shall not Meet
Monash University Gallery, Clayton / Melbourne
On the Ashes of the Stars, curated by Michael Graf
12 panels oil on linen, 31 cm x 212 cm

This series of paintings was developed in response to the context of a group exhibition exploring the legacy of Stéphane Mallarmé. The basic starting points to my investigation were loosely situated between John Cage, Pierre Boulez and Mallarmé's Un Coup de dés. Historically the work of these three was drawn together in a series of written correspondences between John Cage and Pierre Boulez in the 1950's. These included discussions on the introduction of aleatory and chance procedures into musical composition. In part, differing readings of Mallarmé's Un Coup de dés symbolised a fundamental disagreement between Cage and Boulez. Broadly speaking, for Cage, Mallarmé's poem was a precursor and invitation to include chance procedures and indeterminacy into compositions. Boulez on the other hand was much more concerned with the retention of compositional control, and as a result incorporated explicit choice for the performer (rather than chance) into his work.

Un Coup de dés is a poem published over twelve pages (hence the use of 12 canvases) that contains three narrative streams that are spatially interspersed with one another over the series of pages, but distinguished by their respective sizes and fonts. The musicality of the text is emphasised through the large areas of white on the printed page, a visual silence that was central to Mallarmé's conception of the work. John Cage, many years later was of course similarly enamoured with the practice of musical silence.

My working method was characterised by an open-ended transferral and transformation of poetic, compositional, procedural and conceptual aspects of the abovementioned terrains. It was a mixture of performance parameters and chance procedures, personal artistic habits and interests.

To give the processes away: In homage to Cage, I consulted the I-Ching, hoping for guidance in the creation of the series of paintings. The result was: "Hexagram 12. Obstruction. Earth Below, Heaven Above. Heaven and Earth Do Not Commune." The concept of a lack of overlap between elements became a starting point for an investigation into the nature of edges between colours (hard edges, handheld edges, edges not meeting, edges just meeting, edges just blurring), and spacing between colours. The ample white between colour areas was of course also an appreciative nod towards both Cage's and Mallarmé's sense of openness, scale and space.

(Michael Graeve, 2003)

GAAS, Gray Area Art Space

Michael Graeve
Painting and Sound Installation
Grey Area Art Space Inc
Photography: Michael Graeve

Michael Graeve
Backroom Installation
Sound installation, performance and recording environment.
Record players, loudspeakers, alarm clocks, televisions, radios, loudspeaker cables, records.
Building 2, Level 5, RMIT, Australia.
Photography: Michael Graeve

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