Metafisica Australe

When Giorgio de Chirico died in 1978, Japanese-American artist Shusaku Arakawa wrote a brief, somewhat enigmatic tribute to him. This note was passed on to me and I took notice because while I knew little about de Chirico at the time, I knew quite a lot about Arakawa. In the early 1970s, I produced a work entitled Still Life 2, a black box containing an array of boxed elements, which was exhibited as part of my first solo exhibition, Moments of Inertia at Watters Gallery, Sydney, in 1973. It was pointed out to me then that this work had affinities to the work of Marcel Duchamp. Totally ignorant of Duchamp’s work, I conducted an intensive study. I was particularly drawn to his celebrated work The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915–23), also known as The Large Glass. Needless to say, I pored over the contents of The Green Box (1934), Duchamp’s notes and projects for The Large Glass. I tried to fathom the unfathomable.

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Imants Tillers is an artist, writer and curator. He has exhibited extensively since the late 1960s, and has represented Australia at significant international exhibitions including the Sao Paulo Biennial (1975), Documenta 7 (1982), and the Venice Biennale (1986). He is known for large-scale canvasboard paintings that intuitively combine existing artworks, literature and 'ready-made' poetry. Tillers is currently working towards a major retrospective at the Latvian National Museum of Art in 2018. 

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