PETER HILL'S MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY IDEAS

Peter Hill

The Albury Wodonga Superfiction 1993

Collaboration Peter Hill and J.J. Voss (Photographer)

S U P E R F I C T I O N S


Richard Grayson

Richard Grayson is an artist, curator, writer, and director of the 2002 Biennale of Sydney (The World May Be) Fantastic. Many of the artists included in this event created work that could be described as Superfictions. In the introduction he writes “Money now exists as a series of magnetic pulses, on the Net my identity is unverifiable and therefore elective, contingent on my ability - or desire – to contain a continuous fiction, and war for most of us has blurred into Hollywood and video games.” Elsewhere, commenting on historical examples of the blurred boundary between fact and fiction, he writes “The traffic between ‘the real’ and the ‘not real’ is of course osmotic. Sir John Manderville published Manderville’s Travels at the end of the fourteenth century. To us, it is a work of fiction and fable, with its reports of one-eyed people in the Andaman Islands and dog-headed people in the Nicobar Islands – Manderville also locates paradise, but rather charmingly says he cannot say any more about it as he has not yet been there. Certainly by the Sixteenth Century ‘to Manderville’ had become a colloquialism for lying and exaggerating. However Colombus planned his 1492 expedition after reading the book, Ralegh pronounced every word true, and Frobisher was reading it as he trail blazed the northwest passage. So the ‘false’ maps gradually segue into the maps we now accept, but these too are open to constant revision.” See also Aleksandra Mir, Suzanne Treister, Janet Cardiff and Peter Hill.

Always continuing in his primary role as an artist, Grayson nevertheless continued his curatorial explorations in 2006 with the exhibition and catalogue/book A Secret Service – Art, Compulsion, Concealment (shown at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester). The artists included in the exhibition were: Sophie Calle, Roberto Cuoghi, Henry Darger, Gedewon, Susan Hiller, Tehching Hsieh, Katarzyna Józefowicz, Joachim Koester & Adrian Dannatt, Paul Étienne Lindoln, Mark Lombardi, Mike Nelson, Kurt Schwitters, The speculative Archive, Jeffrey Vallance, and Oskar Voll.

In the catalogue essay Grayson concludes, “At the same time that Western Rationalsim is fading, the State seeks increasingly to remove things from our gaze, to pull more and more of its activities back into the shadows. This increased currency of the very idea of the secret, the unknown and the unknowable, and its spread between categories – spiritual, political and social – means that the autonomous areas that we have enjoyed as individuals – personal, subjective and secret – are increasingly interrogated by the social and the politic. The practices in A Secret Service may suggest models and methodologies for engaging with, reflecting or understanding these discourses, their operations and the realities they are shaping.”




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