Venturing - Art Anywhere Symposium 2020

Art Anywhere? (2020)
David Cross

In 2011, Hobart-based artist Anthony Johnson developed a new commission for a public art series across Tasmania called Iteration Again. The work Eclipse consisted of a series of bus journeys each Saturday afternoon, taking place over the course of a month through four streets in North Hobart. The audience were ushered onto a luxury coach and driven around the block for a few minutes, before being deposited again at the pickup spot. This was repeated in the following weeks, creating a perception that the work was either a public art homage to John Cage and Samuel Beckett, or that the artist was taking liberties. While the subtle shifts in time, weather and audience marked each iteration, it was only towards the final weeks that the full measure of the artists project was comprehensible. Bit by bit, the staggering scale of the work was recovered by perceptive audience members who began over time (and multiple journeys) to forensically assemble fragments of what they were seeing. Eclipse was an artwork that took great risks to challenge our capacities for perception, ever ambiguous in potentiate meanings. This presentation will revisit Eclipsesome ten years later, considering how the deft calibration of time and space challenged ideas of place using repetition as a strategy of transformation.