Sandra Bridie and Melody Ellis in collaboration with Alice Cummins and members of RMIT's nonfictionLab Walking in the configuration of infinityOpening: Tuesday 20 April 2021 Dates: 20 April - 22 May 2021
‘Walking in the configuration of infinity’ is a discursive and perambulatory exploration of the act of walking from the perspectives of art, writing, performance, documentation and storytelling.
This project’s starting point is artist Sandra Bridie’s figure of the fictional walking artist, and her interest in authenticity and authorship, fiction and non-fiction, the everyday and the heroic. The project has been developed collaboratively with writer Melody Ellis as well as with members of RMIT’s non/fictionLab – Sholto Buck, Brigid Magner, Peta Murray, Francesca Rendle-Short and Oliver Shaw – and contemporary dance artist Alice Cummins.
Sandra Bridie will present a display of books informed by the act of walking in the Bus Projects gallery, including her own walking fictions as well as the collection of fiction and non-fiction reading material that contextualised, informed and inspired her walking projects.
In addition to the book display, ‘Walking in the configuration of infinity’ consists of a public program of online workshops ‘Walking Writing’, a performance lecture by Alice Cummins and an in-conversation event with Sandra Bridie & Melody Ellis. To read more about, and to RSVP for these participatory events, click the links above.
Sandra Bridie has been walking and inventing fictional walking artists since 2004. This interest has inspired two actual long-distance walks – 800 kilometre across northern Spain in 2015 with her daughter Rubie, and 1200 kilometre walking solo across France and Spain 2018. She has also documented weekend wanders along the Merri Creek and a series of less than 5-kilometre walks around East St Kilda, abiding by the strictures of Melbourne’s second most severe COVID lockdown in 2020. Bridie’s fictions include Sandra Bridie b.1952: Ten Walking Meditations. …, the recent A.B. Hope, b.1990: Walking Grids, (Constraints of Time and Place), 2020, and Sandra Bridie: Walking in the configuration of infinity, 2015. 2020.
Sandra Bridie’s work straddles individual practice, collaboration, exhibition curation, teaching, gallery management, writing, and the interview as documentation of individual and collective artistic practice in Melbourne. Sandra has coordinated a series of spaces and projects including Fictional and Actual Artists Space (1995-6), Talk Artists Initiative (1997-2000) six conjectural modules (2002-3). Sandra was also a founding member of the artist’s group Ocular Lab, which ran from 2003-2010 and through this involvement hosted a series of international, national and local artist’s residencies in the Ocular Lab space.
Bridie’s individual practice involves the invention of fictional artists, presented via a suite of art works from a range of media including film, sculpture, performance, painting and conceptual art. These works are usually accompanied by a published ‘interview’ with the fictional artist describing the journey towards the work seen.
Bridie has extensively documented the processes of both individual artists and artist’s collective activities, such as the running of Melbourne Artist-Run Initiatives. Publications and catalogues by Bridie include ‘Fictional and Actual Artists Space’ (1996), ‘Artists/Artist-run spaces’ (1998 and 2003), ‘Talk Artists Initiative Archive’ (online and in catalogue form, 1997-2000), ‘Artists as Curators’ (2001), ‘Active Imagination’ and ‘Tangential Practice’ (2006) and ‘The artist as composite’ (2009), ‘The Grid Show: A structured space, Articulations’ (2012), ‘Unintended Refrains’ (2015) and ‘Sandra Bridie b.19–: Eight fictions’ (2017).
Since 2004, Sandra has held the role of director of the George Paton Gallery, UMSU, University of Melbourne.