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Agatha Gothe-Snape: The Outcome Is Certain

8 February – 27 March 2020

Hannah Mathews

The Outcome Is Certain was the first survey exhibition of Sydney based artist Agatha Gothe-Snape and brought together key works from 2008 to 2020. Criss-crossing performance and visual art, Gothe-Snape’s work gives presence to the momentary or intangible and is often created in collaboration with others. Deceptively simple, it features an idiosyncratic use of colour and text, which was seen throughout this exhibition in the form of wall drawings, PowerPoint displays, sculpture, works on paper, video installation and augmented reality.

One of two major new commissions produced for the exhibition, Wet Matter, 2020, is an augmented sonic reality experience that bridges the embodied experience of performing with the act of being a witness. Based on the artist's understanding of the body as being both physically and metaphorically porous—continuous with the fluid world around us—the work comprised a wall painting, cloud points applied by members of Google’s Creative Lab, exhibition furniture and approximately 140 sounds ranging from field recordings to spoken monologues that could be experienced by wearing headphones and a harness fitted with a smartphone. Featuring sound by Evelyn Ida Morris and contributions by Lizzie Thomson and Brian Fuata, the work was driven by the Sounds in Space app made by Google's Creative Lab and revealed collaboration as an important site for experimentation—where new ideas and languages are created, and where the previously unimaginable is made actual.

Also commissioned for the exhibition, Selective Memory, 2019, combined the material heaviness of steel with the technological trickery of chroma keying. In this installation, steel sculptures, wall paintings and closed-circuit television systems met to spark playful interaction and reflection on the relationships between the material and immaterial, the observed and embodied.

The Outcome Is Certain traces the through lines of Gothe-Snape’s highly prolific and deeply responsive art practice. Spanning twelve years, the collected works brought our attention to architecture and its metaphors; digital technology and its ability to capture and erase; the weight of the Western art canon and its contention; the gendering of form and voice; and the temporal and material perspectives of performance and its echoes.

Image: Agatha Gothe-Snape: The Outcome Is Certain, installation view: Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2020. Photo: Christian Capurro.

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The artist would like to extend her sincere thanks to her many collaborators, including Brian Fuata, Evelyn Ida Morris, Lizzie Thomson, Alyx Dennison and Tea Uglow at Google (Wet Matter, 2019); Wrong Solo (Brian Fuata and Agatha Gothe-Snape), Sonya Holowell, Ruark Lewis, Sarah Rodigari, Brooke Stamp, Lizzie Thomson, Gotaro Oemetsu and Anna Hubble (Five Columns, 2019); Anne Kay, Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Debra Dawes,  Elizabeth Pulie, Justin Trendall, Noel McKenna, Rachel Scott, Richard Goodwin (Every Artist Remembered, 2009-18); and Michael Snape and Alex Kosmas.

Wet Matter, 2019 has been made with help from friends at Google.
Five Columns, 2019 is supported by MUMA in partnership with the Institute of Modern Art and Australia Council for the Arts.
Agatha Gothe-Snape: The Outcome Is Certain publication is supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation.
Agatha Gothe-Snape is represented by The Commercial, Sydney.