The Outcome Is Certain: Agatha Gothe-Snape
Perimeter Editions and Monash University Museum of Art
‘She brings our attention to capture and erase; the weight of the Western art canon and its contention; the gendering of form and voice; the temporal and material perspectives of performance and its echoes; and the importance of observation, improvisation and collaboration’, writes Hannah Mathews, Senior Curator of Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in her opening essay. Published in parallel with Agatha Gothe-Snape’s first survey exhibition with the same title held at MUMA earlier this year, ‘The Outcome Is Certain’, unravels the Sydney-based artist’s practice over the last decade.
The title, reflective of Gothe-Snape’s multifaceted oeuvre, is equally part exhibition catalogue, part artist book, featuring thematic chapters characterised by bright colours, text and minimal aesthetics. Traversing the various mediums the artist employs, the richly illustrated publication presents her improvised drawings and gouache sketches, performance, video and digital work, sculpture, text and letters. The dispersal through an array of mediums is rigorously poetic, affording an understanding of Gothe-Snape’s narrative. Collating the vast collection of Gothe-Snape’s projects and the confluence of her works, page after page highlights the artist’s ambitious nature. A provocative and evolving body of work, highlighting the encounter between art and audience, and drawing on Gothe-Snape’s nuanced literacy and experimental tendencies.
Essays by Australian and international curators and writers, Julie Ewington, Erik Jensen, Jenn Joy, Gemma Weston, and an interview with Anneke Jaspers, distinguish compelling aspects underpinning ten years of the artist’s work – including her positioning of familiar, art historical and collaborative relationships coupled with the role of chance and intuition. Charlotte Day, Director of MUMA summated this position in the books forward, stating that Gothe-Snape ‘thinks profoundly about the situating of every work of art and the personal, institutional and other structures that might support it. Context – in all its shapes and forms, including cultural and historical, spatial and social – is critical to the work itself.’
The OTA bound monograph, designed by Ella Sutherland, beautifully unites the tenets of Gothe-Snape’s practice, which like the glossy-paged book, are ‘conceptually rich, emotionally intelligent and inherently active.’