Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art | Mitch Cairns, 2022 | Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide | curated by Sebastian Goldspink


"Another painter whose work for the 2022 [Adelaide] Biennial pushes at the edges of narrative is Mitch Cairns. Cairns presents two separate but related works. Polaroid Sketch, 2021, takes the form of a ten-thousand-word poem. Filling an entire wall, it is intentionally difficult to read. Its content could only be realised as a visual, critical mass, to be encountered in sprawling completeness. Columns of text repeat a series of what might be names, their origin unknown. They twist and contort, with slight subversions in their order. 'Goldie' and 'Patch'. 'Whiskey' and 'Pennie'. Alternately in 'a box'. 'A bag'. 'In the kitchen'. Tiny differences in phrasing become apparent, an 'on' is substituted for an 'in'. A 'the' disappears and reappears. The bag is now 'on the verandah'. Pennie and Whiskey inside. This shift becomes hypnotic - an incantation of some past event."

excerpt from Bradley Vincent, 'Spectral State' in Sebastian Goldspink, Free/State: 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, exh. cat. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2022, p. 42


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