A way with it all
16 November - 14 December 2013
A Way with it All reflects on Melanie Jayne Taylor’s engagement with the archive as an institution, a place, and a process or series of processes.
The potentially infinite nature of the Modern archive, and the physical weight of her ever growing body of material, creates a situation where the organisation and management of Taylor’s personal archive forms the subject of her art practice. In this way, each exhibition presents a new arrangement of the broader archive.
Taylor suggests that, in order to allow for the influx of new material into the archive, one must physically and mentally clear space within the archive. We have to experience the process of ‘letting go’ in order to move on and make way for the new.
In her new video works, the artist performs the physical act of letting go of past images from her archive. In Away with it All [By Dusk], Taylor stands on the water’s edge at sunset and attempts to push an archive box full of photographic content into the sea. This poetic gesture appears at first to be futile, as the box floats out momentarily, before being pushed back to the shoreline, but as the salt water starts to physically interact with the photographs the images are irrevocably changed, physically and metaphorically.
As a counter to the very personal expulsion of images presented in the video works, Taylor has invited cataloguers at the State Library of Victoria to review and catalogue a selection of her photographic archive, which will determine how the works are compiled and disseminated within the space of the gallery. This gesture suggests an oscillation between the subjective and objective that forms the selection process of any archive, further examining the action of ‘letting go’ and how this can stimulate the archive .