Kate Rohde

Linden Gallery, August, 2001



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Opening Night Festivities

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Looking for Club Kate

In the search for belonging and self-identity, we create all kinds of meanings along the way to make sense of the trip.

Three women, born six years consecutively apart, in different countries of the world (England, America and Australia) have, by chance, arrived in the same place (an art school in Melbourne, Australia) at roughly the same time (2000) and identified a common sensibility between their work. Coincidentally all have the same first name. Or is it a coincidence? Perhaps when confronted with someone with the same name as ourselves we look for similarities in order to work out something further about ourselves. And perhaps this extra degree of scrutiny and interest allowed the artists to look a little harder than usual at each other's work, which sparked a conversation, which led to a studio visit which eventually led to this exhibition.

Each artist was named Kate at birth (although there is only one genuine Kate, the abbreviated others include a Kathleen and a Katherine). Interestingly, the name means 'pure', which is a term that doesn't spring to mind when thinking about the work of each of these artists. The word t at 1 would use is 'knowingness'. Everything, down to the final arrangement of exactly where the video monitors will he placed, is utterly self- conscious. These artists have analysed the concept of the show, the implication and potential of each and every work and the overall sense of a Gentleman's Club and what that might mean. They have taken the term 'workshop' to a new, higher level of meaning and understanding. Nothing has been left to chance. So, on reflection, perhaps there is a purist attitude in there somewhere, after all.

The dance videos, although linked by form, serve to enhance the inherent differences between each artist. While each of the large, individual works has a warm, fuzzy appearance and materiality, each defies any sense of comfort by their scale and overall, downright weirdness. The club atmosphere simultaneously creates and critiques an exclusive, coded, private world. And although each Kate is dancing in her own room, solo, this exhibition does allude to a coming together of sorts, for a while at least. A chance to see if there is anything particular and special about hanging out in Club Kate.

Kate Daw.


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