Palace of the Republic

louise paramor

Palace of the Republic

Palace of the Republic was shown at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 17 November 2017 until 18 March 2018.

Go to artist interview here: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/essay/interview-with-louise-paramor/

Link to video documentation of the exhibition:coming soon

1st gallery wall text:
Palace of the Republic presents new paper sculptures and a range of plastic assemblages made over the past decade by the Melbourne artist Louise Paramor. Commissioned by the NGV especially for this exhibition, the new works employ the ‘honeycomb’ paper technique that Paramor first adopted in her Lustgarten series of 1999. During a one-year residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Paramor refined this technique through trial and error to produce freestanding and hanging paper objects that appeared to magically transform flat shapes into three-dimensional forms.

The starting point for Paramor’s new works were the forms and colours of her recent Boomtown and Supermodel series of plastic sculptures, which can be seen in the adjacent room. As the artist notes, her approach brings a ‘modernist funk’ to the ‘baroque sensibility’ evident in her original paper sculptures. The resulting installation conveys Paramor’s exuberant sense of play and experimentation with colour, volume and scale.

The title of this exhibition and Paramor’s new series refers to the now-demolished seat of the German Democratic Republic, a socialist beacon which was situated opposite the original Lustgarten, or ‘pleasure garden’, site on Museum Island in Berlin. The title not only links Paramor’s new honeycomb paper series to her earlier Lustgarten series but also reflects a working-class utilitarianism, evident in the artist use of plastic objects, and suggests a dichotomy between grandeur and pragmatism.

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2nd gallery wall text:
A selection of sculptures made during the past decade by Melbourne contemporary artist Louise Paramor are assembled in this gallery. Constructed from found objects and plastic detritus collected from various sources, including hard rubbish piles and industrial waste centres, these works are presented in a number of distinct series distinguished by theme and scale. They range from the monumental Tritonic Jam Session sculpture, 2008, to the comparatively diminutive Boomtown series, 2016, which formed the starting point for Palace of the Republic, the artist’s series of large-scale paper sculptures which can be seen in the adjacent gallery.

Exploiting the aesthetic and associative potential of plastic as a material, Paramor investigates fundamental principles of modernism in these sculptures while also making reference to the visual landscape of the contemporary world. She has commented: ‘What makes these works distinctly of our time are the materials employed – industrial plastics, which are widely used in the manufacturing world. These plastics are especially tactile and often lurid in colour – characteristics which, not surprisingly, evoke an irresistible sense of play … I have embraced the physicality of this “stuff” to create dynamic, anthropomorphic works that also offer viewers an opportunity for reflection on our wider built environment’.

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