12 December 2018 – 26 January 2019
In his 1937 essay “Between Yes and No”, Albert Camus writes:
A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
I don’t know those lines from deep readings in existentialism, though I may occasionally quote them as if I did. No, I read them on the back of a late - ‘60s Scott Walker album, high culture filtered through music, an ostensible gap collapsed. This feels apropos, writing about Jonny Niesche, and so does the quote. Cut to the early ‘80s — if we may continue folding time and space — and an anecdote. The young Niesche is in an Australian department store with his mother. He’s been dragged to the cosmetics department and, let’s say, his heart is involuntarily opening, enamoured by colours, mirrors, refracted surfaces, geometry and glitter. Later — here we elide Niesche becoming a musician for a decade or so until his late 20s, though it’s relevant, and then shape-shifting into an artist who initially made figurative work — begins a slow trek of rediscovery and self-acceptance through the detours of art, one that turns outward.
(Excerpt from Martin Herbert's essay "In Whose Presence" published in Cracked Actor, 2018)