Jim Allen, The Skin of Years at Michael Lett

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Beyond the Real

“… points on a matrix that is configured by nodes of connections between antinomies that move in multiple directions at once, alongside and through each other, contemporaneously, such that each of these elements may come into adjacency with any other, interact with it, or pull away from it … Above all, the flows between these vectors travel in a variety of ways, never in singular directions…”

Terry Smith, Divine Violence Imagined by Contemporary Artists, Reading Room: A Journal of Art and Culture, Art Goes On, 2009, pp. 35-36.

Jim Allen (b. 1922) has been developing his artistic practice since the 1950s and is at the forefront of the development of the post-object and performance-based art in Australasia. He was among the early exhibitors at the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, South Australia and Founding Head of the Art School of the Sydney College of the Arts (which later became Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney). Since 2000 Allen has re-staged a number of early works, such as the two-part installation O-AR (1974) and the early performances Contact (1974), Poetry for Chainsaws (1976), News (1976) and On Planting a Native (1976) in Adelaide, Sydney, Auckland, New Plymouth and Wellington. His video works have been shown widely in America, Germany and the Netherlands. Space Plane, Environment No. 1, Tribute to Hone Tuwhare and Small Worlds (1969) are currently on display as part of the exhibition Collecting Contemporary, a selection of contemporary art acquired by Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa between 2006 and the present day.

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