Lumpen Falls

Lumpen Falls Conical Gallery, Melbourne (March 3 to 24).

Lumpen Falls extends OSW’s recent activities framed by an ongoing interest in physical forces, such as gravity, and material operations that register these forces and their temporality. Acknowledging the potential force and dynamics of matter, this project specifically engages with matter’s capacity to convey an immeasurable quality of events.

One such event is the impact of meteorites on the earth. Originating from within the solar system approximately 4.5 billion years ago, a fragment from the core of a larger asteroid, the particular meteorite figured in this project fell at over 40,000 km per hour striking the earth at Henbury, Northern Territory, approximately 4,700 years ago. As an object the meteorite expresses the events of its formation: the intensity of collisions with other asteroids, its splitting from a larger iron mass, and the vortices of hot gases causing the ablation of its surface as it fell though the earth’s atmosphere. Furthermore the meteorite frames an interest in the temporal dimensions of matter, as a duration that exceeds easy comprehension, and a conceptualization of spatiality beyond anthropomorphic preoccupations. 

This meteorite, cast in plasticine, operates as a talismanic object for the conjuring of a field of material adventures. It instigates a series of questions relating to the correlation of force, formation, material expression and duration through processes that explore a continuum between structure and flux. Impacts and impressions are unleashed in the exhibition across various materials in a theatre of actions. Surfaces of lead, plastic and paper register the specific choreographies of projectiles propelled from devices such as a tennis ball machine and an air canon, whilst other elements exhibit distortions of heating and cooling, throwing and falling, rolling and pushing. These formative events, performed both before and during the exhibition, accumulate as a field of inflected surfaces and objects, in which material expressions are exposed. Across this continuum the exhibition presents an exploration of forces through an intensification of material operations that open encounters between sensibility and thinking. 

Art’s political potential resides in this openness, in the leap it takes into the unknown in order to bring about something new. By inhabiting the uncertainty of the incalculable qualities of matter, its excess beyond the knowable, its residues that resist incorporation, art practices produce a context for the maximization of difference.