Melbourne Art Fair

Chris Bond

1 - 4 Aug 2010

Imaginary past, present and future exhibitions by artist Chris Bond provided the fodder for a series of meticulously painted representations of fictional exhibition catalogues in his exhibition Collected Works at the 2010 Melbourne ArtFair. Each painting documents a parallel universe of artistic possibility for Bond, placing him in a variety of fictional art spaces in Australia and overseas, completing fictional bodies of work, funded by fictional agencies. Some of the catalogue paintings were funny, some sad, some cruel. Bond’s obsession with failure (both artistic and global) was ever present. Bond’s potential career choices were also called into question, with a number of the painted catalogues featuring his participation in some very dodgy fictional ventures. The procurement of arts funding was also lampooned. The catalogue paintings draw on a tradition of text and art historical referencing in Bond’s recent work, most immediately recognisable in his popular series of painted books (2004-2008). Across these many works, the artist has often used his own name to claim authorship of his fictions, while allowing the titles to address multi-level failures, including the shortcomings of the art historical movements that have influenced him. In addition to the catalogue paintings, Collected Works featured a series of observational drawings of natural and manufactured objects whose function or existence has been contorted by human intervention. A cassette tape with its ribbon spilling out, branches and twigs snapped by human hand, a worn-out wallet and a torn coffee cup were documented in these minutely detailed graphite on paper drawings.