Sam Cranstoun: You Are Neither Here Nor There brought together four projects made during the first decade of Queensland artist Sam Cranstoun’s research-driven practice.
The subject matter reflects the artist’s interest in lesser-known aspects of significant twentieth-century figures and events. Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, the Memphis motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated, and the life of Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, the Greek architect and town planner who emigrated to Brisbane after World War II but ended up growing tomatoes in the city’s south, are some of Cranstoun’s subjects. These histories become case studies to explore the complicated legacy of modernism and the way its utopian goals of political and social change have not eventuated as intended.
Modernism’s failure is perhaps most evidently played out in the sculptural installation Look Out! made in response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The human-scaled observational towers resemble minimal sculpture of the 1960s while also acknowledging our increasingly surveilled existence, both online and in real life.
You Are Neither Here Nor There included key works from these projects alongside new paintings extending the artist’s investigation of modernist art and design, the built environment, and capitalism.
3 pm, Saturday 26 August 2023
Sam Cranstoun in conversation with Hamish Sawyer
12 pm, Saturday 26 August 2023
Remaking Modernism: Sam Cranstoun, Natalya Hughes, Andrew McNamara and Hamish Sawyer
11 am, Saturday 28 October 2023
To support the production of Sam Cranstoun’s first monograph, due for release in early 2024, the artist created HERE / THERE 2023, an editioned screenprint available to purchase from UniSC Art Gallery.
The publication will contribute important and timely scholarship on Cranstoun’s work and include newly commissioned texts by Professor Andrew McNamara, Hamish Sawyer and a conversation between Cranstoun and Natalya Hughes.
About the Edition
To support the production of Sam Cranstoun’s first monograph, the artist has created HERE / THERE 2023, an editioned screenprint available to purchase from UniSC Art Gallery.
HERE / THERE 2023 editioned screenprint acknowledges the title of Sam Cranstoun’s exhibition You Are Neither Here Nor There. The title is derived from a quote from Postscript by the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney (1939–2013). Cranstoun first read the poem in Ireland while undertaking a research project about British naval officer and last viceroy of British India, Louis Mountbatten, assassinated by the Provisional IRA in 1979.
Heaney’s verse resonated with Cranstoun’s anxiety about not absorbing all the information and experiences he encountered while travelling, thus defeating the purpose of his travel:
"It became something of a mantra, a way of reminding myself these things can not and, in a way, should not be entirely planned or orchestrated. The things that persist and stay locked in your memory are in fact the things that are supposed to remain."
HERE / THERE embodies Cranstoun’s research-driven process that often involves travel or ‘pilgrimages’ to significant sites and archives. The source material for this work gained additional significance with the artist’s project Between Utopia and Dystopia (2018–19), which unpacks the biography of internationally recognised Greek scholar, architect and town planner Constantinos Apostpolou Doxidis (1913–75), who briefly migrated to Brisbane after World War II. Doxiadis’ writing frequently explored the idea of utopia, which as Cranstoun notes, “literally means no place” an approximation of being "neither here nor there".
HERE / THERE’s layered text formally speaks to this in-betweenness and reflects the artist’s ongoing use of found language.
Sam Cranstoun HERE / THERE 2023
Screenprint, edition of 25
42 x 59.4cm (sheet)
Printed by Matt Deasey (No.7 Print House)
Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane
Unframed. Price includes GST and registered shipping within Australia.