Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time
Linda Michael and David Hansen
Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time showcases the extraordinary creations of Fiona Hall – figures woven from military camouflage, painted clocks, botanical illustrations on banknotes, sardine-tin sculptures, nests of shredded money, strange driftwood and more.
Hall's seemingly random conjunction of things in a wunderkammer-like installation appeals to our human impulse to make connections. Despite the apparent darkness of much of the work, it is also life-affirming, its own vitality in perverse distinction to the 'minefield of madness, badness and sadness' of global politics, world finances and the environment, which are the inspiration for Wrong Way Time and in turn provide the rich pickings for Fiona Hall's extraordinary transformation of materials, images and objects.
Guiding the viewer through the works are two outstanding texts. Linda Michael describes Fiona Hall's engagement with the present moment, 'her wish to explore the complexity and cruelty and terror of her times 'to the litany of war news, stories about terrorism, climate change, extinctions, environmental pillage, collapsing markets, and so on.' But along with this is Fiona Hall's 'deep love of the world and all its wonder and variety and magic', and this is what takes her work away from being 'political' or 'message' art, to make it 'a practice absorbed in the condition of living on this planet'.
The other major text, by David Hansen, investigates the myriad ways Fiona Hall has used banknotes, whether as grounds for her botanical paintings that investigate the intersections of trade, nature, economics and national identities; or the American dollar bills sliced and woven into birds' nests in Tender.