Neon Parc acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung as the Traditional Owners and sovereign custodians of the Country on which we operate. We pay our deepest respects to their Elders past and present. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

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Paul Knight
‘L'ombre de ton ombre’
Monash University Museum of Art
7 Oct.–9 Dec.

Neon Parc is pleased to announce Paul Knight’s major survey exhibition, ‘L’ombre de ton ombre’ at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), touring to UNSW Galleries, Sydney and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2024–2025.

Co-commissioned by MUMA and UNSW Galleries, ‘L’ombre de ton ombre’ is the first major exhibition of the work of Paul Knight in Australia. The exhibition presents new and recent photographic, sculptural and machine learning works that engage the artist’s relationship with his partner as an index of time, invoking the intimate present alongside the deep past and near future.

Knight’s ongoing photographic project, ‘Chamber Music’, records the life he shares with his partner Peter. Since they met in 2009, the series has accumulated glimpses into the domestic space of their relationship, with images created through varying degrees of pre-meditation and chance; often the camera timer is set so that it simply captures what it sees. Printed in a range of scales, the exhibition at MUMA brings together over 50 works from the series, alongside several works in the Monash University Collection.

While the artist’s relationship provides the material for ‘Chamber Music’, Knight’s hand-loomed bedsheets weave other stories into their fabric. Pursuing research into various measures of time, both scientific and narrative, Knight is fascinated by the hypothesis concerning the gravitational influence of a binary star system that triggered periodic meteor impacts on Earth and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and rise of mammals. Geologically this event is recorded in the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary as taking place sixty-five million years ago and Knight takes comfort in humanity being simply another subsequent organisation of matter occupying only a slim chapter of this deep geological time. His textile works reference, through their combination of minimal colour and abstract compositions, the atmosphere of a binary star system and the conceptually and physically intimate measure between two bodies.

Alongside these photographic works and textile installations, Knight’s work ‘Naked Souls’, co-commissioned by MUMA, UNSW Galleries and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts engages machine learning technology to unfold a conversation between two chatbots in the gallery. Trained with a pre-existing archive consisting of every text message sent between the artist and his partner Peter in the first few years of their relationship, visitors will witness the bots communicating with each other for the duration of the exhibition—their dialogue evolving from the raw material of banal ‘everyday’ exchanges to the intensity of a forming relationship with its hunger for real physical contact. As Knight says, ‘perhaps the most complex and entangled of all human processing and response is the data generated by human love.’

The exhibition is accompanied by a monograph which illustrates Knight’s ‘Chamber Music’ series and details the algorithmic working methods of his textiles and machine learning works included in ‘L’ombre de ton ombre’. The book is co-published by MUMA, UNSW Galleries and Perimeter Books and includes new texts by the artist, Anthony Gardner, Katie Mack, Oxana Timofeeva, José Da Silva and Pip Wallis.

Exhibition dates:
Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne
7th October—9th December, 2023

UNSW Galleries, Sydney
28th June—15th September, 2024

Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth
26th October, 2024—19th January, 2025

(Request catalogue)

Exhibitions (6)