All That Is Solid
All That Is Solid is the third and final exhibition in the One Vast Library program. The year-long program concludes by examining the impacts of extractivism within the context of climate crisis, considering its influence on society, economics, technology, class, and politics. Beginning with a display of historical imagery of Victoria’s early embeddedness within extractive logics and their interconnection with colonialism, All That Is Solid looks comparatively and critically at the contemporary outcomes of these behaviours. In particular, the exhibition has a specific interest in present-day mining’s relationship with 21st century technology and its accompanying air- and cloud-themed advertising rhetoric and imagery. As the works presented show, these systems implicate the individual in processes that sustain neo-colonialism, but also remind us that political agency remains alive amongst the plumes of anthropogenic emission.
About One Vast Library curated by Tim Riley Walsh
One Vast Library (OVL) is a series of three exhibitions, accompanying events and publishing presented at MADA Gallery. The project’s title is drawn from the writings of the 19th century English mathematician and early innovator of machine computing Charles Babbage who represented the atmosphere as a shared repository of human memory, breath, and emission, “one vast library on whose pages are forever written all that man has ever said”. OVL aims to articulate a changing relationship with the atmosphere in the context of climate crisis by demonstrating its fluctuating representation across late 20th and early 21st century Australian and international art. By placing both recent and historical works in dialogue, the project intends to describe the air of the present as an increasingly precarious space, thick with social, political, economic, and cultural frictions and machinations.
One Vast Library has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.