Jonny Niesche and Michael Staniak “Total Vibration”

The Hole

poster for Jonny Niesche and Michael Staniak “Total Vibration”

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The Hole presents a two-person exhibition with wall pieces by Jonny Niesche and sculpture by Michael Staniak, both artists native to Australia. Niesche’s trompe l’oeil “void” paintings suck you into their black center while Staniak’s painted bronze sculpture look like holographic fragments from a different universe.

Works in Total Vibration chart a dual reality where the physical and virtual worlds intermingle, poking artistic transformations introduced in the post-analog age. Pulsing, psychedelic colors and reverberating surfaces abound: Niesche and Staniak interrogate their chosen materials and limn the digital circulation of culture and history, gesturing toward a new frontier both obsessed with the omnipresent Internet.

Kinesthesia and the optical effects factor largely in the exhibition and provide its throughline. Drawing on ideas introduced by ZERO group artists Otto Piene and Heinz Mack, the exhibition radiates the “dialectics of static and dynamic elements” and sheds light on the parasocial relationship between audience and art. Generating a rhythmic feedback loop between observer and observed, constructed through light and its visual currents, the works achieve what Piene termed “total vibration,” a quality only present when there is an uninterrupted physical exchange between art and viewer.

Inspired by Ziggy Stardust and other collectible items from David Bowie’s indelible glam rock era, Niesche’s paintings function something like a concept album caked with cultural samples. His paintings disinter pigments central to Bowie’s iconic glam rock persona, blowing them up to disorienting proportions. Pulling color quotations from various sources—including Stardust’s iconic Schwartzkopf red hair inspired by Kansai Yamamoto’s first London show, and a rare, electric blue vinyl of the Ziggy Stardust album—Niesche exhibits a deep reverence for camp, glitz, and performance. “Astral Sphere for Pierre La Roche”, which takes its name from both Stardust’s recurrent forehead make-up and its designer, boils down the pigment to its very essence, while also signaling the heat and intensity of a stage light.

Staniak’s work looks to the origin of painting in the cave, where artistic instinct found its first expression, by replicating the textured surfaces of cave walls from scans available on open-source CAD software. Uneven, rough, and heavily saturated with color, the sculptures generate what the artist has termed as a “hypersurface,” meaning that the object produces a feeling of disorientation where areas of shadow and light are unclear and an objective viewing experience is inhibited. Staniak’s work explores the transfiguration from two-dimensional to three-dimensional, and from digital screen to reality, to expose the seams undergirding digital tools.

Offering an ocular experience somewhere between orgasm and aneurysm, Total Vibration lays bare developments in post-analog art and how the human sensory experience is deeply impacted by digital technology, online culture, and their associated intrusions into reality.



from May 20, 2021 to June 20, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-05-20 from 18:00 to 20:00

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