Exhibition: JANIS II | at The Commercial and MCLEMOI Gallery | opening Friday 26 July 6-9pm

July 16, 2013



JANIS II points to women artists of the past, present and future and is born from the co-operative efforts of a range of female-run art organisations and professionals.

JANIS is an ongoing project dedicated to promoting female artists with strong individual voices. Started by Sydney-based artist, Kelly Doley, through a series of exhibitions, publications and talks, JANIS is dedicated to enabling female artists, but also writers and thinkers, to be heard a little louder, to take up more space and more time in the world.

JANIS was inaugurated in February 2013 with an exhibition at Alaska Projects, Sydney. For its second incarnation, JANIS II expands to occupy two recently-opened commercial galleries in the Redfern/Chippendale arts precinct. The Commercial Gallery and MCLEMOI Gallery are excited to work collaboratively to co-host this dynamic exhibition. A side strategy of JANIS II is that artists in the exhibition are without current commercial gallery representation. The exhibition provides an opportunity for their work to be exposed to new audiences.

JANIS II is co-curated by Kelly Doley and Amanda Rowell and includes a diverse range of object-based work and performance from emerging, mid-career and lesser-known historical artists.

JANIS II artists are Bonita Bub (b. 1982), Jenny Christmann (1929-2005), Sarah Goffman (b. 1966), Gail Hastings (b. 1965) and Sarah Rodigari (b. 1976). With a wide range of conceptual and historic concerns, works in the exhibition have a particular focus on abstraction and minimalism and explore physical and interpersonal space in various ways. Architecture and the negotiation of common objects, spaces and routines are also recurrent themes.

Bonita Bub’s robust and fluorescent machine structures define the vertical and horizontal organisation of space, connecting floor to ceiling and blocking passage. The exhibition brings to light rare works of the late Jenny Christmann. Christmann’s assemblages and collages occupy a Dadaist tradition and are concerned with self-depiction and self-sufficiency. Sarah Goffman’s obsessive collection and decoration of over a hundred recycled PET bottles and containers, transforms rubbish into a large still life of precious objects. While her large watercolour groups document the packaging of food eaten in a day or week in a menu as self-portrait. Gail Hasting’s sculptuations deeply engage with the tradition of minimalism while involving viewers as physical, intellectual and aesthetically-competent beings. Sarah Rodigari’s performance employs speech and other forms of dialogue around chance encounters, traditions of performance, representation and the absurd.

Accompanying the exhibition will be the JANIS II publication that includes short written contributions from many female contributors from diverse professional backgrounds.