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146 ArtSpace presents: John Vella's BEST PRACTICE


Iteration: Again
John Vella
Curated by Jane Stewart
25 September - 15 October 2011



An Iteration: Again exhibition project - BESTPRACTICE involves cutting circular pieces out of the hundreds of artworks that comprise john vella’s entire 1996-2010 oeuvre.

About Iteration: Again
Iteration: Again is a series of thirteen public art commissions by twenty- two Australian and international artists taking place across Tasmania from September 18 – October 15 2011. Produced by Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania and David Cross, in conjunction with seven partner curators, Iteration:Again will present a compelling array of temporary artworks in largely unexpected places throughout Hobart, Launceston and beyond. Working to transform our experience of place for a moment in time, each commission will seek to address how temporary interventions or responses by artists to public sites, environments and buildings can serve to open up new ways of understanding Tasmania as a place with very complex cultural, social and spatial resonances. Fundamental to the curatorial premise is the idea of transforming or re-working an artwork over the course of a specified period of time.


Iteration: Again examines how it might be possible to introduce transformative elements that challenge the notion of a fixed or definitive artwork grounded in one location. By asking the artists to make four different chapters or ‘iterations’ over the course of a four week period, Cross has challenged each practitioner to think through how change or processes of transition may function to make the art experience an unstable and contingent one. This idea of incorporating change into the work highlights a growing interest by artists in emphasising art as a potentially theatrical or even fictive medium with the audience experiencing different moments or stages of encounter over a number of weeks. The idea provides for the possibility of narrative sequences, formal investigations or temporal shifts that may add or subtract key aspects over time. Each work may begin as something modest and have additions over time, or conversely may begin as a complete entity and then have components subtracted over time. Regardless, each commission will seek to recast our understanding of public artwork from a discrete event or viewing experience, to a suite of experiences.


Emphasising collaboration as a key strategy in artmaking, Iteration:Again also highlights curatorial practice as a key focus of the project. Cross has invited seven curators from Tasmania to work with an artist or artists, each of whom has an interest in the commissioning of temporary public art projects. Bringing together curators with local knowledge to work on a shared brief adds a range of perspectives and a diversity of experience, highlighting different models for the artist/curator relationship. Iteration:Again is very much a project of collective voices challenging the relevance and potentialities of temporary public art as a vital and engaging cultural practice in Tasmania and beyond. 


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Iteration: Again is a Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania project.

Image: Iteration: Again - BEST PRACTICE, 2011 - John Vella
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist