work / SHILO PROJECT 2010
The Shilo Project
The Ian Potter Museum of Art - University of Melbourne
28 Nov 2009 to 14 Mar 2010
Curator: Dr Chris McAuliffe
The Shilo project is based on Neil Diamond’s 1970 album, the cover of which features a connect-the-dots portrait of Diamond for fans to complete. The project invites up to 100 contemporary Australian artists to complete a ‘blank’ cover and displays their sleeves alongside those found in op shops completed by unknown individuals. This kaleidoscopic exhibition of art and record sleeves is a tribute to pop idols, classic tunes, record collectors, fans and vinyl. At the same time, it poses conceptual challenges to artists. The original sleeve promises an image of Neil Diamond but doesn't deliver: When is a portrait not a portrait? Completing the puzzle reveals the portrait but may trash the sleeve.
Mildura Arts Centre 25 March – 28 April 2010;
SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 2 July – 1 August 2010;
Warrnambool Art Gallery 11 September – 7 November 2010;
Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery 19 February – 20 March 2011;
Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, 11 June – 24 July 2011.
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia describes a music mash-up as ‘a song or composition created by blending two or more songs, usually overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the music track of another’. One of my current favourites is Djcopycats ‘Fade to Pretty Vacant’. This example melds together Visage, The Sex Pistols, The Charlatans, FunLovin’ Criminals and Nouvelle Vague into a seamless and fundamentally new recording. My work for the Shilo project, is a visual attempt to expand upon this juxtaposition theme. I have used the cover of an early German pressing of the Beatles ‘White Album’ and overlayed the number and dot pattern from Neil Diamonds ‘Shilo’ album. The result is neither one nor the other, neither Beatles nor Diamond...a mash-up of both. Deleting the title and text from the original Shilo album helps to amalgamate both and hopefully signals something entirely new…..Lucy in the sky with (Neil Diamond), perhaps?
Peter Atkins Sept 2009