Tricky Walsh | Tiefenzeit

2 March – 1 April 2017



Tiefenzeit is a work of speculative fiction which is embodied through paintings, but also more ephemerally within the gallery by incorporating sound and smell as definitive elements of the installation architecture, providing an illusory slippage in the perception of the space, and encouraging the slowing of time as the senses are bombarded by conflicting information.

In a broader conceptual framework, this slides comfortably into the concept of Tiefenzeit; or Deep Time – a geological constant which asks us to consider the continual present in the context of an ever expanding past and future. Taking the continual present as a starting point I am examining ways of avoiding entropy through an expansive generation of parallel possibilities. Literally, of world/worlds expanding in number if not in linear evolution.

This exhibition is the culmination of a three-month residency in London undertaken in late 2015, and the works within it express not only the subjects of my research, but the experience of being completely overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of its/our technological history. At some point, the research started to weave itself into a narrative which is possibly the easiest way my mind had of processing that amount of information into a coherent system. Whatever the cause, Tiefenzeit was born, and given more concrete form upon my return to Tasmania.

The paintings are a synthesis of abstract geometry and pattern with an inclusive graphic based narrative. Littered with various types of early code (morse, telegraphy, braille and others) and graphic symbology, the narrative attempts to progress with a preference on action, gesture and spatial relationships than through the written word. I am interested in the ways that we communicate that skirt around the safety net (and the trap) of language.

Scent – or perfume holds a special place in the concept of time within the show – it is one of the most accurate media in suggesting both stasis and progression. Held within the confines of a container, it only ever exposes its top-notes – or its “present sense” it is not until the scent is worn, that the journey of the scent can progress, as it moves through heart and base notes like a piece of music, or the act of walking through space.

Similarly, the use of radio within the show as its soundscape follows the connection of time to space. Given the idea that you can listen to the first broadcasts ever made if you could travel far back enough through space to physically receive them (as radio waves don’t cease to exist, they just keep traveling further into space, and in turn – back through time.) The soundscape is constructed from both field recordings during the residency period, and constructed sound using strings, percussive and resonant materials.

It stands to the exhibitions’ logic that this sound piece contributes to the concept of deep time by being transmitted throughout the gallery and beyond – played on a loop within the space (continual present) and into the ether (past, history)
It will be micro-broadcast from the gallery on 104fm.


Click here to view the exhibition catalogue.


Read Art Guide’s review of ‘Tiefenzeit’ at Contemporary Tasmania in October 2016 here: http://artguide.com.au/tricky-walsh-mixes-wwii-code-obsolete-tech-and-sci-fi-in-tiefenzeit

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