Courtney Coombs: Wish You Were Here

For their first exhibition in Japan, Courtney Coombs has chosen the gallery as theme. As art historians tell us, the “white cube” is not empty nor neutral. Using light, video and objects, Coombs’ works urge the visitor to pay attention to the gallery space around them. In addition, the title, “Wish You Were Here,” evokes the well-worn traveller’s phrase written on emails and postcards to loved-ones back home. Whether the “you” of the title is referring to the artist, the artist’s lover or the gallery visitor is left unexplained. With an empty bed sheet lying on the floor, it could be any or all. The video, Wish You Were Here III, also shows an empty bed sheet, but in this work the artist is present by the continuous switching on and off of the hotel room’s lights. These works are also in the company of a hanging crystal. This object plays with light, whereas the video’s empty bed sheet and the gallery’s sheet display the subtle shadows of various points of light. Coombs’ works function equally as an expression of the gallery’s relationship with light and as an intimate transaction between the artist and this particular space. Courtney Coombs is completing a PhD in Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology. They have been active in the Brisbane and Australian art scenes as an artist, public speaker and as a part of the LEVEL collective of feminist artists/curators.

19-25 November 2012
Roji to Hito, Tokyo

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