Iteration:Again was a series of thirteen public art commissions by twenty- two Australian and international artists that took place across Tasmania from September 18 – October 15 2011. Produced by Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania and David Cross, in conjunction with seven partner curators, Iteration:Again presented a compelling array of temporary artworks in largely unexpected places throughout Hobart, Launceston and beyond. Working to transform our experience of place for a moment in time, each commission addressed how temporary interventions or responses by artists to public sites, environments and buildings can serve to open up new ways of understanding Tasmania as a place with very complex cultural, social and spatial resonances. Fundamental to the curatorial premise was the idea of transforming or re-working an artwork over the course of a specified period of time.
Iteration:Again examined how it might be possible to introduce transformative elements that challenge the notion of a fixed or definitive artwork grounded in one location. By asking the artists to make four different chapters or ‘iterations’ over the course of a four week period, Cross challenged each practitioner to think through how change or processes of transition may function to make the art experience an unstable and contingent one. This idea of incorporating change into the work highlights a growing interest by artists in emphasising art as a potentially theatrical or even fictive medium with the audience experiencing different moments or stages of encounter over a number of weeks. The idea provides for the possibility of narrative sequences, formal investigations or temporal shifts that may add or subtract key aspects over time.
Emphasising collaboration as a key strategy in artmaking, Iteration:Again highlighted curatorial practice as a key focus of the project. Cross invited seven curators from Tasmania to work with an artist or artists, each of whom has an interest in the commissioning of temporary public art projects. Bringing together curators with local knowledge to work on a shared brief added a range of perspectives and a diversity of experience, highlighting different models for the artist/curator relationship. Iteration:Again was very much a project of collective voices challenging the relevance and potentialities of temporary public art as a vital and engaging cultural practice in Tasmania and beyond.