Not Mexico 2011 (polystyrene shape 4.3mhigh, 1.6m wide, 400mm deep; 3 shapes in unprimed canvas, each 2 x 2 metres when flat; drum) in Horror Vacui: Viva Mexico! at Articulate project space, 497 Parramatta Rd, Leichhardt 2040 Photo Sue Blackburn

Opening 25 March 2011. Closing 3 April: Open 11-5 Fri-Sun


Unlike the curators of Horror Vacui: Viva Mexico!, I didn't go to Mexico, but my attraction to the notion of horror vacui that they brought back with them is its slight similarity with the critique of the white cube ( which is part of the spatial focus of the project space where the show is held). The similarity is that both are reactions to the emptying of architectural spaces, but the response of one is to fill the empty space with relics and imagery, and of the other is to recognise its potential for live, bodily inhabitation. The Mexican horror vacui focus of this exhibition thus invites reflection on the spatial frameworks on which the project space is based, so as to reconsider how the space of images might cohabit with inhabitable space that images and architecture both occupy. (This was something that Robert Morris, when writing on minimal art in the 1960s, saw as difficult to maintain because of the domination or default nature of illusionism in contemporary culture (1)) In Not Mexico , I worked with the ziggurat or pyramid-like architecture of ancient Maya civilization, thinking of it as a remnant of a largely-past social space in the same physical space as modern Mexico, and also as an image of Mexico that could be constructed elsewhere to recognise the actual space in which both the pyramids in Mexico and the image in Sydney are both still located. The work is composed of polystyrene (stairs) & unprimed canvas (walls) that represent the pyramids in Mexico, as well as being part of the literal space in which the work is located. (The latter is emphasised by the wall-shapes' construction as occupiable 'bags'—that were danced in at the opening—and by the stair-shape in the ease with which it knocked and wobbled by visitors.)

(1) Robert Morris Notes on Sculpture 3 , Artforum v5, no 10 (June 1967)