Neon Parc is pleased to present Prospect Park, an ambitious exhibition by Jamie O’Connell to be held at the gallery’s offsite location at 215 Albion Street, Brunswick.
O’Connell’s idiosyncratic creations are meditations on nature, machines, and human consciousness. His inventive works range from monumental kinetic and sound-producing sculptures to almost microscopic pieces created from actions and investigations.
For 215 Albion Street O’Connell has used the expansive layout of the offsite warehouse complex as an opportunity to reinstall a number of recent projects alongside a number of new works. Prospect Park provides a concise overview of O’Connell’s oeuvre, while also deliberately reconfiguring and reimagining his work as a set of overlapping engagements. Using the architecture of the space to choreograph a new encounter with his work, and the ideas that animate them, ruminating on the world, objects, and bodies and interfacing actions between these triads.
In the work Prospect Park, for which the show is named, a part of the gallery is turned into a roller-skating rink, upon which the skaters weave around a Canary Island Date Palm. The palm itself is an overlap from another work which ruminates on international migration routes, transporting a Canary Island Date palm by boat from the opposite side of the globe. In Repressing Desire Bob Dylan’s Album Desire is melted down and repressed into U2’s album Desire, and vice versa, creating an odd kind of ventriloquism that unsettles the way we imagine this pairing.
Prospect Park includes some of O’Connell’s most ambitious projects to date, such as: a nightclub that chases 3am around the world, a system devised to track every Elvis auction ending, a car in which the engine is cooled by a functioning spa bath, formed by inundating the vehicle’s interior; an attempt to stop turning with the world as well as an attempt to return a meteorite to space. An action which is married with the parallel act of dragging a meteorite behind a truck at night, sparking it against the earth’s surface, causing us to speculate on the difference between one rock and the other.
Jamie O’Connell has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts, and is currently undertaking a Doctorate at Monash University. In 2016 he received the Bear Brass prize and he was awarded the Sainsbury Sculpture Grant (NAVA). In 2014 he was granted a position in the 2014 India Global Atelier, funded by Asialink, and was the recipient of the Roger Kemp Memorial Award and the Stella Dilger Award. His first major solo exhibition More Days Than Beyonce was held at Gertrude Contemporary in early 2016 and his first commercial solo exhibition More Day was held at Neon Parc City in 2016.