Points of Orientation seeks to re-engage the viewer with the notion that cultures have, for thousands of years, been making and re-making objects of both practical and metaphorical importance and that this repetition provides critical co-ordinates that cross spiritual, social and existential dimensions. One further implication of this collision of objects spanning 6000 years is = the notion of “newness”, particularly as a valid criteria for justifying attention, let alone meaning, is revealed as conceptually bankrupt.
‘…In ancient cultures artists sought to make the same things as had the generations before them. Artworks were also existential points of orientation. In this capacity they fulfilled their moral obligation. Meaning and its materialised manifestations, was not called into question. The artwork had the dignity that was due to it – something that I do so dearly miss today.’
– Helmut Federle 1992.
‘Aboriginal Creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path – birds, animals, plants, rock, waterholes – and so singing their world into existence.’
– Bruce Chatwin 1998
‘Artworks that resist the current climate for pastiche and irony are more in need than perhaps ever before. It is both the modesty, yet seriousness of the aspiration to make and remake, to see and to understand, to allow for a patient accrual of meaning – and if Helmut Federle is correct – then let art carry some weight of moral obligation.’
– Andrew Jensen