Paul Yore and Devon Ackermann

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2007-2010 Monash University, Melbourne, Painting and Anthropology

Solo exhibition
Fountain of Knowledge, Neon Parc
The Incoherence Of The Incoherence, Sydney Contemporary 13, Carriageworks

PantaRei, Anna Pappas Gallery
And, Gertrude Contemporary Project Space Melbourne Art Fair
Boys Gone Wild, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces Studio 12 Exhibition

ANTHROPOP, Blindside Artist Run Space

The Big Rainbow Funhouse Of Cosmic Brutality Part 2, Heide Museum Of Modern Art

The Big Rainbow Funhouse Of Cosmic Brutality, O’ Projects Artspace

Group exhibition& screenings
Bloodflowers, Seventh Gallery
Wangaratta Textile Prize, Wangaratta Art Gallery
Home: Reframing Craft & Domesticity, Hatch Contemporary Art Space
Like Mike, Linden Contemporary
GNAP, Art Gallery of Ballarat
Blue and Pink Phenomenon, The Substation

Gertrude Studio Artists Exhibition, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces
Sensation And Fabrication, Incinerator Arts Complex
The Mathematics of Small Numbers, Footscray Community Arts Centre
John Fries Memorial Prize, Gaffa Galleries
Rainbow Eaters, Westspace
MoNow, Federation Square Atrium

Gertrude Contemporary Artists Exhibition, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces
Global Backyard, La Trobe Regional Gallery
Beautiful Volcanoes, Monash University Faculty Gallery
Everything Is GoingTo Be Alright, Trocadero Art Space
Better Than Art, Kings ARI
Yeah, We’ve All Been There, Seventh Gallery

Wish You Were Here, Collaboration with Devon Ackermann, Tocadero Art Space
Collapsing Conditions, Alliance Francaise de Melbourne
ARtecycle, Incinerator Arts Complex
Glen Eira Artists Exhibition 2010, Glen Eira City Council Gallery
Newer10,Trocadero Art Space
Finding Space, Midsumma Festival, Carlton Club

Mof Off, St Ignatius Community Hall

Award, Grants & Prizes
2013 Wangaratta Textile Prize
      Guirguis New Art Prize Finalist 
2012 John Fries Memorial Prize Finalist
2010 ARTecycle People’s Choice Award, Incinerator Arts Complex
2009 Alliance Francaise Prize
      Trocadero Art Space Award

2013 Geumcheon Residency, Seoul
      Australian Tapestry Workshop Residency
2012 Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces Studio Residency 
2011 Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces Studio Residency

Everything Is Fucked, 2011, wool needlepoint, 85cm x 69cm

Boys Gone Wild, 2012, wool needlepoint, 200cm x 84cm

The Big Rainbow Funhouse of Cosmic Brutality, 2009, mixed media installation, dimensions variable-approx. 5 x 7 x 3.5m

EVERYTHING IS FUCKED, 2013, mixed media installation, dimensions variable-approx 6 x 4 x 5m

White Trash, 2012, wool needlepoint, wood, wire, beads, fairy lights and paint, 120cm x 135

 Map, 2012, wool needlepoint, 101cm x 93cm

 Fuck The Police, 2012, wool needlepoint, wood and fairy lights, 116cm x 120cm

 Blessed Be Bieber, 2013, mixed media installation, dimensions variable - approx 2m x 2m x 3m

AND, 2012 mixed media installation. dimensions variable – approx 9m x 3m x 2.5m

Nothing Is Real, 2013, wool needlepoint, 76cm x 54cm

Nothing Is Real

Inspired by the sickly-sweet excess, playful performativity, androgyny and post-apocalyptic sensibilities synonymous with Korean pop culture, NOTHING IS REAL is an open-ended kinetic sculptural, sound and video installation that also delves into themes concerning the instability of industrialization. Comprising disparate interconnected components, the installation relates to a research project examining Seoul as a physical, socio-political and historical environment.
 Sourcing a variety of materials locally from the immediate surroundings of Seoul Artspace Geumcheon, a revaluation of notions of waste and salvage informs the material aspect of this investigative methodology, whilst concepts relating to the fragility and vulnerability of humans within the highly developed context are expounded more subliminally. 
 Constructed in situ, the form will assume a fusion of architectural foundations corresponding to industrial developments and decorative surface embellishment - reflecting our interest in the seemingly paradoxical coexistence of traditional Korean art/architecture with the infrastructure of the expanding, techno-industrial milieu of global consumer capitalism.

Nothing Is Real, Video and sound installation, variable size, 2013. (Exhibition Installation view)

Global Kitsch?: Paul Yore and Devon Ackermann
Dong-Yeon Koh, Art Historian, Art Critic

Native Australian artists Paul Yore and Devon Ackermann’s colossal installations constructed with “odds and ends” aroused my curiosity about whether cheap aesthetics, which can be accepted throughout the world, or a “global kitsch” is possible. As such, artistic techniques of Aborigines and mental patients, Western popular consumer culture, K-pop, and Korea’s ppongjjak (trot) music, seem to bear many resemblances. In art criticism “kitsch” has been thought of as being defined by distinctive aesthetic characteristics such as shoddy design, excessive showy colors, and recurring rhythms. In contrast, Yore and Ackermann’s kitschy work ultimately reveals kitsch’s cultural commercialization and their critical intent. Overly decorative techniques and materials adopted for their work seem closely bound up with marginal men in contemporary society, such as homosexuals, lunatics, and urban workers. <In Boys Gone Wild> (2012) and <Fountain of Knowledge> (2013), both two-dimensional knitting works, Yore comments on diverse artistic inspirations. In these pieces, natural objects hark back to the natives of Australia’s aesthetic idioms, and the knitting technique is applied from what he learned in a mental hospital, staying there for treatment, whereas the sexual images stem from the homosexual subculture he belongs to. Likewise, words like “love” and “peace” frequently employed in his works are more than a mere quotation from popular consumer culture distributed in a kitschy sense. He is actually facing charges due to <Everything is fucked> in which Justin Bieber is portrayed as an object of voyeurism.1) Another interesting aspect is, the variety of motifs employed in Yore’s <Boys Gone Wild> and other installations are not merely adopted from the Australian subculture of homosexuality. As is widely known, handicraft techniques have been used for other alternative art forms antithetic to mechanical products. Primal nature in <The Garden of Earthly Delights> (2010) and a rainbow and installed articles symbolic of a religious altar in <It was All a Dream> (2014) were motifs frequently used for posters, buildings, and music albums associated with the hippy culture of the 1960s. For instance, the rainbow was used as a symbol of peace and union by hippies who tried to emulate Indian community life, confronting Western society’s rapid industrialization and individualism after the war and also as a symbol of place for homosexuals. In addition, Yore and Ackermann make globalized interpretations of their motifs while at the Seoul Art Space_ Geumcheon residency. It is common to transfigure Western celebrity singers like Justin Bieber into a homosexual icon in the subculture of homosexuality. They find gay subculture images in images of G-Dragon too, a South Korean rapper. Excessive decoration, outer appearance, and neutral magnetism showcase the status of G-Dragon as a gay subculture icon. They prefer ppongjjak to J-pop music due to its overly commercial traits and absence of a critical social message. The music flowing repetitively at <Nothing Is Real> (2014), an exhibition in Geumcheon was ppongjjak or Korean trot music. Although they could not understand the lyrics, they were captivated by a repetition of the same notes and lyrics. A kitschy culture of Korea characterized by simple repetition and overstatement can be said to appeal to some Australian artists, moving beyond a national, cultural boundary. Their kitsch aesthetics can be said to be an outgrowth of their dreaming of a globalized expansion of past “surplus” materials and techniques. When viewers enter their installation comprised of cheap articles, they are encouraged auditorily as well as visually. Through this work the artists are able to cope with conservative aesthetics and artistic commercialization led by the establishment both in East and West. And yet, their overtly decorative work can be said to be elusive rather than critical. The inner space of their installations - full of nature-friendly objects and images suggestive of a primal world - can be their place where they can withdraw into themselves, forgetting the irrationalities of society. When viewing their works employing cultural fragments derived from popular consumer culture, I have an expectation that more Australian artists addressing Australian political, social situations could be introduced to Korea and threads to new interpretations could be given through their communication with the Korean art scene. Another expectation I have is an opportunity to observe and compare cultures led by “marginal men” in each society: how culture embraced by marginal men have similar or different historical, social contexts, not government-led cultural exchange, or excessively commercialized cultural interchange.