Nicholas Kersulis’ practice applies systems of organization to cultural artifacts through formal devices such as montage, accretion, and erasure, and through the conventions of exhibition display and graphic design. Built into the resultant system is an implicit absurdity that questions the objectivity of the system itself—a systematic critique of systems in the form of a system.
In the same way that the illusion of space within a picture plane contradicts the object (i.e. the the stretcher bar defines the object itself, while the application of paint defines an illusion through paint), the ‘external’ context of exhibition co-exists and is in dialogue with the ‘internal’ relations between the artworks themselves. This dialogue between the space of exhibition, and the artworks within that space is informed by montage—where the process of selecting, editing, or piecing together separate objects form a continuous whole—often employed as a montage of spatial disorientation in order to support psychological disorientation. Disorientation that intends to disrupt the spectacle culture that we endure in everyday life.
Experienced in real-time these installations of paintings, photographs, and sculptures request that an observer slow down the onslaught of images that we experience daily: both online and in real life. Improvised responses to architectural details or idiosyncrasies of the physical space of exhibition are integral to these systems. Often the exhibitions emphasize details of interior architecture that counter the conventions of exhibition display, which typically frame the gallery as a ‘white cube’. For example, the wrap-around wall drawing at Venice6114 that subtlety enhanced the various mismatched levels of the gallery floor: for some it went unnoticed, for others this gesture appeared as a false reveal, and yet for others it evoked an imaginary flood line.
Currently Kersulis is exploring these concepts and maneuvers within the contexts of non-physical spaces. Theoretically the internet is an infinite space, but our engagement with its contents is finite and defined by our individual identity and by our physical interactions with it. Limited by these real-life, physical engagements with the ‘space’ of the internet, the limitlessness becomes an illusion.