The exhibition was motivated by some of the following ideas, beliefs and uncertainties.
1. The 12th Adelaide Biennial is anchored in the expressive and frustrating conceptualisation of time. The exhibition explores how ideas emerge, converge and re-form over time, echoing throughout history to reveal points of similarity (parallel), contact (collision) and encounter (trespass).
2. The 12th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is not a survey; it is an exhibition that has emerged from close conversations with artists, their ideas, a state gallery and a collection.
3. We are interested in the contradictions raised by the title Parallel Collisions. What happens when a parallel and a collision are placed in dialogue, especially when their meaning may at first appear antithetical? At the heart of their concurrence is the complex and intangible nature of time. A parallel cleaves a path through time continuously. In descriptive terms, the parallel can refer to correspondences—a tendency or a similarity of parallel concern. A collision, however, describes contact and feels like a rupture to the sequential nature of temporality even though time persists beyond the expansion of that moment. Cars crash. Particles collide.
4. This Biennial forges connections between the spaces traditionally occupied by the Adelaide Biennial and the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia. By situating the exhibition across two physical platforms, we seek to excavate the currents that simultaneously link ideas in time (in parallel) and yet also resist their static dimension (in collision). New works placed in dialogue with the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection of Australian art, or collection works redeployed elsewhere, amplify the conditional nature of the histories embedded in the building and in the interpretation of the collection. In a related way the artists in the exhibition often employ the resources of the past—imagery, materials, processes or research from literature, cinema, art history—to re-imagine the past and the present, or even to project into the future, creating a rich mosaic of interlocking temporalities.
5. The 2012 Biennial proposes multiple and paradoxical histories: a burgeoning set of coordinates to map out the multifarious conditions of the contemporary. Within the parallel structure, works have been named an Incursion, Redux or situated within The Tracking Shot to reflect the artists’ concerns and the different actions of their work.
6. The exhibition publication is conceived as an offering, an integral yet autonomous object that presents eleven speculative approaches to the ideas presented by the art and the exhibition. This full colour, 356 page publication mirrors the structure of the exhibition yet is not designed as a true representation. By giving ample scope and breadth to reproductions and by dedicating pages to the creation of original artwork or ancillary research material, this publication was developed with the artists’ visual practices at the forefront of our minds.
Richard Bell, Stephen Bram, Pat Brassington, Philip Brophy, Robert Cook vs Max Pam, Timothy Cook, Daniel Crooks, Nicholas Folland, Pat Foster & Jen Berean, Marco Fusinato, Shaun Gladwell, Susan Jacobs, Jonathan Jones, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Rosemary Laing, Rob McLeish, Tom Nicholson, Philip Samartzis, Tim Silver, Ricky Swallow, Michelle Ussher.
Philip Brophy, Justin Clemens, Johanna Featherstone, Anthony Gardner, Lily Hibberd, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, Mami Kataoka, Raimundas Malasaukas, Adrian Martin, Jennifer McMahon, Christos Tsiolkas.<br/>
Lisa Slade, Jan van Schaik, Fabio Ongarato Design.