Indefinite Substitution

Indefinite Substitution

Tom Nicholson, Indefinite substitution

6 – 9 July, Sullivan Bay, Indented Head, Geelong A participatory performance action – to book and for session times, dates and locations please visit The Cinemas Project website.
FINAL EVENT: 5.30pm Wednesday 9 July Geelong Gallery / Little Malop Street / Geelong 3220

Commissioned by NETS Victoria for The Cinemas Project, curated by Bridget Crone

Indefinite substitution is a set of ongoing participatory events involving clay busts of two important and singular protagonists in the very early history of Victoria: John Batman and William Buckley. Figured into a number of important sites in and around Geelong, the work centres on these two busts being exchanged by participants between shifting sites over four days. In an action that is prefigured by the movement of the Joy Ark cinema on the Eastern Beach, Geelong and by the movement of film itself – a series of still images moving, four participants will carry the busts between the two sites. This action is also suggestive of a procession or the more perfunctory movement of a group of removalists.

Beginning with the two heads being exchanged between Sorrento and Indented Head (by means of a boat across Port Philip Bay), and then between Indented Head and Eastern Beach in Geelong, the project will end in the Geelong Gallery with the two heads exchanged hourly between two positions at either end of the Richardson Gallery. Each bust is unfired wet clay, more than life sizes, fashioned from a number of pictorial records of the appearance of the two men. The participants in these daily actions are drawn from the local community/visitors to the project. As the busts are substituted repeatedly between the two sites, the two sculptural forms will be changed by the people handling them, each bust also leaving part of itself on the hands of those who participate.

Participants will move the wet clay busts of Buckley and Batman through different environs.

Available shifts are as follows—

  • Sunday 6 July, 9am–4pm Between Sorrento and Indented Head (by boat across Port Phillip Bay) Meet at Sorrento: Collins Settlement, in front of the ‘First Settlement at Port Phillip’ monument
  • Monday 7 July, 9am–4pm Between Indented Head and Eastern Beach, Geelong (by ute) Meet at Indented Head: between the jetty and the John Batman monument
  • Tuesday 8 July, 10am–4pm Between Eastern Beach and the Geelong Gallery (by trolley) Meet at Eastern Beach: in front of the Eastern Beach carpark
  • Wednesday 9 July, 10am–4pm Within the Geelong Gallery (by foot).

If you would like to participate in Indefinite substitution, please email us.

Visit the artist’s page for further information about Indefinite substitution.