Michael Lindeman

MICHAEL LINDEMAN
An Awkward Dance
29 June—4 August 2018
S+S Sydney
Opening Friday 29 June 6–8pm 

 

Michael Lindeman’s, An Awkward Dance is a complex exploration into his own identity, a burrowing into the realm of institutional critique, and an exercise in bypassing culturally sanctioned principles.

An Awkward Dance is a presentation of paintings, drawings and sculpture that invert structures of power and authority with wit and sarcasm. Lindeman is compelled to make art that entertains himself, art that does something other than sitting on its arse in a gallery space. His conceptual practice calls for a dynamic engagement from the viewer by way of a shared experience.

The central installation of paintings titled, Implicit Memory System, highlights his disposition towards authority. Relying on an animated, satirical ‘Poo’ font, this collection of text paintings calls-out various individuals who possess an inflated sense of authority. Masking the implied stench, Lindeman has mounted a colourful grid sequence of air fresheners over the entire gallery wall – blanketing the exhibition space with a cocktail of subtle and fresh fragrances.

Lindeman’s wry institutional critique continues throughout the exhibition with a suite of drawings that replicate ‘Obituary Notices’, ‘Missing’ and ‘Seeking Same’ classifieds. The comical yet critical drawings in the series announce the passing of various art movements and other absurd considerations of the art world.

In the large text-based sculpture titled and forming the word Thanks, Lindeman focuses on the repackaging of bad debt. Crafted from clear vinyl material hand cut into a disquieting, deflating three-dimensional font, the sculpture is filled with crumpled copies of rejection letters that Lindeman has collected for the past twenty years. Anxiety-ridden and with a confessional bent, Thanks proposes the idea of failure as a possible artistic strategy, while splitting open the art world's system of inclusion and exclusion.

Midlife Report Card (Selfie) is a humorous parody of an anatomical diagram on 1:1 scale. This radical self-portrait continues Lindeman's interest in pushing at the edges of the field. Through Midlife Report Card (Selfie) Lindeman confronts his position as an artist, and more broadly, his place in the world both physically and intellectually.

Michael Lindeman’s exhibition An Awkward Dance sets out to activate repressed impulses, embody alienation, disrupt convention and invert structures of power, with a certain self-deprecating humour. In direct contrast to the notion of artist as genius, Lindeman’s wilful idiocy goes out on a limb, he risks his neck to propose a body of works that are a mismatch with any current fashionable aesthetics, it is an awkward dance.

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