Empty Orchestra / Rock Garden


Papakura Art Gallery | Auckland

October 2016 | Two-Person Show

Gabrielle Amodeo | Yolunda Hickman

Exhibition Text:

Empty Orchestra / Rock Garden uses the shared premise of rendering the familiar newly-novel and strange. Symbols are a system designed to convey meaning when collected in a sequence, and a familiar context gives content its recognisable meaning. In Amodeo and Hickman’s works different symbols and pieces of content are untethered from their original contexts and systems.

By isolating symbols and content from their systems and contexts these fragmented pockets of information both lose meaning and begin to stand in for the entirety of their absent source. When combined within the works of the show, they tug at one another in an aim to form a new language: somewhere between what is lost and what needs to remain to communicate. This allows and invites the viewer to find new meanings within these bits and pieces of untethered information.

The compound title of the exhibition plays with language in a similar way to the art works: the literal translation of ‘karaoke’ forms a demanding opposition between the starkness of ‘empty’ and the rich voluptuousness of ‘orchestra’; and a rock cannot be literally planted in a garden with the expectation of growing flowers.

Photographs by Sam Hartnett