When we inhale and exhale, our bodies transform through the process of inflation and deflation. Drawing on the inflatable form as both material and metaphor, Conflated brings disparate artists together to explore bodies, environments and cultures through contemporary art. Here, the cycle of breathing serves as a framework through which a wide array of experiences, behaviours and expressions are examined.

Featured artists – Zoë Bastin, Andy Butler, David Cross, Bronwyn Hack, Amrita Hepi with Honey Long and Prue Stent, Christopher Langton, Eugenia Lim, James Nguyen, and Steven Rhall – investigate the possibilities of the inflatable through participatory works that entice audiences into finding new forms of Covid-safe intimacy, audio that draws parallels between ASMR breath and the ecological destruction of glaciers melting, and video of convulsing bodies that morph with inflatable objects. Across all works, the idea of inflation and deflation is a provocation, offering new possibilities in and for our world.

Amrita Hepi with Honey Long and Prue Stent, Omphalus (still), 2021, video, 03:30 minutes. © the artists. Courtesy the artists, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne

Conflated presents a range of inflatable materials, from balloons to digital audio and video informed by inflatable processes. Positioning the inflatable as the medium of our times, the exhibition prompts us to explore the inherent plasticity and transformative potential of that which can be blown up. The works conflate synthetic forms with human vulnerabilities, the abject, uncanny, eco-anxiety, colonised land and breath.” – Curators Zoë Bastin and Claire Watson.

Conflated is a NETS Victoria touring exhibition.

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
16 December 2023 to 11 February 2024
New South Wales

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