Time passing upside down: Julie Rrap's 360 degree self-portrait
If art is to have any resonance in today’s world, pressured as it is with increasingly frantic and superficial types of human expression and interaction, then it must find ways to slow meaning down. Art at its most interesting impedes the otherwise rapid flow of information between subjects and objects by blocking the interface which we expect to deliver instant gratification or by suspending our comprehension of what we are seeing, forcing us to find innovative ways to engage with what we don’t understand.
Throughout her thirty-year career, Julie Rrap has consistently found ways of welcoming, and even eliciting, the recalcitrant moments when circuits of expression give way to incomprehension, opening out this delay in meaning that affords time for us to think. Rrap creates images, objects and installations that are often productively baffling and mysterious in the way in which they evoke bodily responses but also suspend intellectual attempts to pin down meaning. Rrap has done this by employing her own body, always filtering and manipulating its appearance through technologies from photography to video to body casting. In this way she explores the interrelations between the body and its modes of experience, presentation and representation, pointing to the overlapping and co-constitutive nature of being, seeing and feeling. Art, in Rrap’s practice, traces and retraces this interesting nexus – making us think.This article appears in excerpted form. You can read the entire article in Art &Australia's Autumn 2012 issue.
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