SUBTERRANEANS – Sam Melser and Cameron Tauschke

June 7 – 28 2014

A collaborative exhibition inspired by David Bowie exploring the ruins of amnesia

Subterraneans is the second collaborative exhibition by artists Sam Melser and Cameron Tauschke. Inspired by Low, an experimental album by David Bowie recorded and mixed in France and Berlin and released in 1977, Melser and Tauschke reinterpret ‘Subterraneans’, the final song on the album by digging new holes and clearing new tracks. Being Subterranean is much more than being underground. For these two artists from New Zealand and Australia it is a method to rediscover historical juxtapositions. For Bowie, Subterraneans refers to the imposed silence and isolation of those living in East Berlin during the cold war.

Tauschke’s pictures sometimes originate from old DDR and soviet style architecture references. He creates pictorial spaces that are strangely familiar, nostalgic and occasionally solitary. Melser too combines different historical temporalities and creates a kind of anachronistic timeline – a mind map of organic prehistoric structures; a cave of interconnectivity. The lyrics of Subterraneans, as well as the experimental musical soundscape, resemble the ‘cut up’ technique popularised by the writer William S. Burroughs, which Bowie used and expressed admiration for. Bowie became disinterested in the traditional pop song writing structure and became involved in non-conventional writing methods.

Both artists Melser and Tauschke use collage in their art and see image making as necessarily fragmented – a never ending meta narrative. This procedure is one of decontextualisation, where images and texts are extracted from their original context and recontextualised. In a game against amnesia, both artists create memories, either prospective or retrospective and reconsider the musical moods picked at by Bowie and other, past, present and future ‘Heroes’.

Tauschke will exhibit a series of paintings and collages on paper and Melser will present a multi-media darkroom installation exhibiting two and three dimensional artworks.
(Falco Sternburg)