JAMES AND ELEANOR AVERY

 

Malleus Maleficarum

Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
www.nelliecastangallery.com

10 June to 3 July 2010

Black Magic, Malleus MaleficarumBlack Magic & Double Rainbow, Malleus MaleficarumDouble Rainbow, Malleus MaleficarumPortcullis, Malleus MaleficarumPortcullis, Malleus MaleficarumPortcullis, Malleus MaleficarumMalleus Maleficarum

Malleus Maleficarum

The title of our show, Malleus Maleficarum, comes from the 15th century European manual for witch hunters. It translates from Latin as 'the hammer of the witches' and was written by Dominican theologists to prove, via the presence of the Devil in the bible, that witchcraft did exist.

Our collaborative practice has developed out of our search for meaning in contemporary culture. Our research begins with an exploration of historical sites and events, which are reinterpreted with sci-fi overtones and positioned within a framework of imaginary day trips to sites of specific interest.

Historically, dissident sects were treated with suspicion and heretics were aligned with the Devil, and therefore branded as 'witches'. We are interested in the group mindset of minor cult groups and divergent belief systems and the power systems within them. Our works often suggest a social aspect, a group participation, but are generally non-functional and inaccessible.

Our new works in Malleus Maleficarum draw on many layers from history, which we merge with contemporary iconography to build new meanings. We use symbolism and recognisable forms offset against arbitrary configurations to create works which are ambiguous and have multiple readings.

Our new work is not a crusade, and it doesn't endorse this manual. It's an attempt to locate some kind of understanding across a shifting historical framework.

image details -

Black Magic
steel, paint
150 x 330 x 2cm

Double Rainbow
laminate on ply, perspex
340 x 340 x 80cm

Portcullis
mirror laminate on ply
172 x 220 x 33cm

 

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