EXHIBITIONS: KATY B PLUMMER: MARGARET AND THE GREY MARE
9 Dec 2023 - 28 Apr 2024 | 10.00am - 5.00pm
9 December 2023 - 28 April 2024
There is an Anglo-Celtic pagan tradition in which The Grey Mare, a horse’s skull adorned with flowers, arrives in dark mid-winter. She knocks on doors and sings in riddles, and when you exhaust your answers - which you certainly will - you must invite her in.
Image courtesy Katy B Plummer 2023.
MARGARET AND THE GREY MARE (Katy B PLUMMER, music by Sally Whitwell) is an opera, a fever dream about an opera and an immersive video installation, made in collaboration with a chatbot coded to act as a channel to an ancient Celtic land spirit.
Anchoring the project is a sprawling hour-long video opera. The score is composed and performed by ARIA award-winning composer Sally Whitwell and sung by the artist, her sister Margaret Plummer (a principal Mezzo Soprano with Vienna State Opera), and Baritone Michael Honeyman. The video was filmed at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and produced in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker and video artist Kuba Dorabialski.
The libretto was generated by the artist in collaboration with a specially coded machine learning tool, designed to simulate conversation with The Grey Mare, and was trained to speak in symbolic, oracular verse. In this way, AI is treated not as a neutral technological gimmick, but as a mystical link to the collective unconscious.
The project takes place in a nameless forest at the height of the European witch-trials, and explores the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence as oracle, witchcraft as a feminist framework, and the troubling gifts passed down through lineage.
Katy B Plummer makes work about the phenomenology of resistance and the politics of ghosts. She juxtaposes cinematic storytelling with anachronistic domestic textile practices and the camp aesthetics of high school theatre. Through performance, video, and large-scale textiles, her work announces that history is a haunted house, and that horror and witchcraft are legitimate political strategies.
Katy was the 2022 recipient of the Blake Prize Established Artist Residency, and received an honourable mention in the 2022 Darebin Prize. She was a finalist in the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship in 2019. She was also commissioned in 2021 by the City of Sydney to make a public artwork for their Art in the Laneways program. She has shown work in Australia as part of MONA FOMA, at Sullivan Strumpf, at Verge Gallery and at many other artist-run initiatives. Internationally, she has presented work in New York, Los Angeles, and in Barcelona.
Exhibition is an outcome of the artist receiving The Blake Established Artist Residency at the 67th Blake Prize (2022).
This exhibition has been supported by Creative Australia
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EXHIBITIONS: EDDIE ABD: THE UNBEARABLE RIGHT TO SEE AND BE SEEN
9 Dec 2023 - 28 Apr 2024
10.00am - 5.00pm