There ought to be silence

Month: August, 2013

Experiencing ontological certainty

Oliver Parzer exhibits You Are, a minimal and yet analytic, inquisitive and complex piece. The Berlin-based artist asks the visitor to take an effective part in his installation which functions as a dispositive of sense only through people’s physical engagement.
The visitor is in fact asked to climb a ladder with a stereoscope at the top of it; while looking through the optical device, the viewer sees two different sentences blended in one, You are alive/You are alone. The stereoscope’s lens give a three-dimensional impression for which the two statements are seeing together; moreover, what the viewer actually recognizes is also affected by his own physical arrangement as he might have a dominant eye.
Parzer encourages the visitor to take an active role and to contribute to the artwork’s factual realisation: the viewer needs to face the verticality of the ladder and use the technical prop in order to interpret the installation. While the stereoscope represents a prosthesis device for the human eye and a way to extend the sight, the stair clearly symbolizes the euphoria of vertigo as well as possibilities of risks and dangers.
Are you alive or alone? What do these existential conditions mean? Are they opposite, complementary or synonyms? As in a suspension of judgement, Parzer leaves these questions open to the viewer’s viewpoint.
While alive and alone represent the mutable attributes of our human condition depending on time, perception, feelings and attitudes, You Are is the statement’s kernel, which never changes and rather continuously manifests itself.
You are confirms an unquestionable state of the being; taking action, climbing the ladder, looking through the stereoscope, and making a choice of judgement are all activities which imply an existing and living presence. You Are appears as a matter of fact, an empirical manifestation of ourselves.

Text by Elena Dolcini
Full essay:



I:I:I:I –  featuring Tristan Davies, Nikki Lam, Kimberley Liddle and Oliver Parzer explores the internal and external duration of self, its translucent nature as well as its complexity in relations to our surroundings.

A series of site specific projects, I:I:I:I allows the viewer to interactively delve into each of the artists minds, and interpretations of one’s self.  Oliver Parzer posits that ‘I’ can only be found if you are willing to taking the steps to embrace the inherent solitude of human experience. Nikki Lam views the identity of self as framed by the constitution of space, and such identity is realised only through vulnerability and change. Tristan Davies notions that the conception of self exists only in the past, found through nostalgic memories, and momentary thoughts. Kimberley Liddle explores the sense of self in the present. Stripping away all layers of the conscious mind and the external materiality of self, Liddle’s mixed media sculpture portrays the instantaneity of the subconscious. Does ‘I’ exist as asolid definable state, or is the idea of the self an illusion created by a constant flux of moments and events?

I:I:I:I takes us on a fascinating journey and challenges our own understanding of the concept of “self”, along with challenging the mainstream execution of mixed media projects.

Opening Night: Friday 9 August 6-9pm | Exhibition Dates: 9 August – 23 August 2013

Off the Kerb Gallery, 66B Johnston St, Collingwood, 3066 Australia