Marian Tubbs

Material Logic

In the hands of Sydney artist Marian Tubbs, everyday materials close the gap between the real and the virtual and flip age-old power structures on their head.

By Rebecca Gallo

When we meet, Tubbs talks about taking responsibility for one’s online presence. As two women in our early thirties, we were deliberating over young people today, mainly in the context of Tubbs teaching first-year art students and the ways in which we can capitalise on our virtual personas.

These days, it’s hard to excuse the lack of an online presence, an awful website or an inability to be contacted, unless that’s part of a broader anti-establishment plan.

As an artist who has had significant international exposure at an early stage of her career – with works screened in Vienna, Venice (the Maldives Pavilion for the 55th Biennale) and New York, as well as major Australian institutions – Tubbs understands the power of an online presence. Her neat website is an interesting foil for an artist who works with everyday and domestic materials. It is functional, it allows her to be easily found, traced and contextualised by international curators, and it seems designed to more or less disappear behind install shots, links to press and snatches of poetic text.

The peripheral activity around the actual making of art and the art objects – the profile-building, interpersonal interactions, institutional box-ticking, diplomacy and the tension when collectors just can’t get into your new work – are of academic interest to Tubbs. More than ever, they are an inextricable part of being an artist. To varying extents, these factors influence the making and showing of work. Through her installations and web-based projects, Tubbs challenges and engages in an ongoing dialogue with many ... Subscribe to read this article in full

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