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Exhibition: "False perspectives"

at M16: 3 May 2018

an installation by
Caroline Ambrus (paintings) & Lucile Carson (sculptures)

A collaborative effort between Carson and Ambrus has physically manifested in visual re-telling of the childhood classic, The Wizard of Oz. The artists use warped light and a clever fusion of flat and 3D perspective to create an immersive installation.

The story of the Wizard of Oz has feminist, political, religious and economical interpretations applicable to society today. The wizard is the master of false perspectives and unrealistic promises which is crafted to convince people he is great.

Dorothy has lost her way in a tornado. In seeking her way back home, she encounters a lion without courage, a tin man without a heart and a scarecrow without brains They believe the wizard can provide for their needs. When he disappoints them, they have no choice but to rely on themselves.

This children's story can be correlated with Donald Trump who is the epitome of the Wizard of Oz. He frustrates and disappoints those who believe in him. The people have forgotten that their problems cannot be solved by a narcissistic figurehead. They need to save themselves by co-operating with each other.

The floor and wall art depicts a reality that doesn't exist by employing a deceptive play on perspective. To view the image in its correct perspective, the viewer has to adopt a specific point of view. The tin man, the lion and the scarecrow are sculpted in recycled materials, which demonstrates that every little bit we throw away can be given a new life.

1. The narcissists always has flying monkeys to do his dirty work. They act as intermediaries between him and his victims. The narcissist can have clean hands whilst blaming the monkeys if anything goes wrong.

2. The false perspective is based on anamorphic art which can be fully revealed when the viewer stands in a certain position. The wall and the floor art merge into one continuous image.

3. Detail: The wizard has been exposed as a fraud by Toto, Dorothy's little dog. The mansion is in a state of decay because the wizard focuses on his image instead of maintaining the infrastructure. The figure of Dorothy is based on the brave girl of Wall Street who confronts the all powerful bull.

4. detail below: The story incudes the narcotics issue where Dorothy falls asleep in a poppy field. These poppies grow out of the pit of the neglected mansion. Not shown is the figure of a man trying to crawl out of the pit.

5. Too late, the flying monkey is on the loose.

6. The tin man is made of recycled coffee pods. He holds his heart in his right hand.


7. This depicts the all American scarecrow who has no brains, paying homage to the image of Trump hanging above his head.







False Perspectives and Deceiving Facades.
by Jenna Moss
Caroline Ambrus and Lucile Carson, two local Canberra artists, have created a deeply immersive installation 'False Perspectives' currently exhibited at the M16 Artspace in Griffith. The title itself looks at the blindness we are lead into with propaganda and false media, creating our perspectives to be biased and overall, false. After studying together at Canberra School of Art in the 1960s and 1970s they joined together to create this highly political and intriguing installation, sure to take the viewer on a journey.

Hidden through a small doorway at the back of gallery 1 the second gallery space, currently housing the installation, immerses the viewer in another world from the moment the space is entered. You are greeted by a large-scale painting displayed on a three dimensional drop; completely covering an entire wall and spilling onto the floor below, this is joined by two sculptures; both created from found materials, and a large suspended painting displayed on an angle high above one's eye level. Being an installation, the separate works within the display remain unnamed. The shadowing, warped lighting, clever fusion of flat and 3D perspective ² and deep colours all combined in one area add to the interesting and almost sinister look of certain pieces. This installation is political at its roots. Ambrus, the artist of both the 2D works, makes this prevalent in even the smallest details, from the placing of the works within the space to the symbolism present in her work. Both her works depict
one of the most prominent figures in current politics, Donald Trump. The artists studied Donald Trump, looking
at the "narcissism and sociopathy" ³ he displays and wanted to depict this within the installation.

Ambrus' work isn't only pushing boundaries politically but also in the art world, wanting to bring 'street style' into the galleries. Particularly influenced by anamorphic art which creates illusions of having three dimensions within 2D works and also includes distorted perspectives within art, Ambrus created one of her works on a 3D drop. In her other work within the installation, a portrait of Trump, perspectives and power dynamics are also played with by presenting the work on an angle, looking down from above the viewer's eye level. His portrait, dark in colour and almost threatening as he points towards you from above makes the viewer feel small, intimidated. Sitting on his left forearm is a flying monkey, from the Wizard of Oz, which is a continued theme throughout the space. This
comparison, of Trump to the Wizard "came out of the blue" ³ for Ambrus and continues in how diversely the themes in this classic can be applied. The large range of issues, from politics, to feminism and religion, allows for many interpretations. Each patron of the installation, along with their own interpretations, will therefore take different key elements away from the work. The work is striking, being so dark in colour and is high contrast
compared to the other works at M16. The lighting in this installation comes from above creating dark shadows on Trump's face, further adding to the evil portrayal. This portrait is strategically placed above the audience and is directly across from another work which features the wizard's computer (the eye). I believe this is important as it indicates Trump's self-obsession, always watching himself.

Through the larger work depicting the castle, which is displayed on a series of 1.2m² wooden boards, she draws parallels between the Wizard and Trump. This work is mixed media to the point that Ambrus jokingly said "every"³ technique was used including use of acrylic for the undercoat, oil paint for details, dry pastel and oil pastel. This work took approximately 12 months to create working around 5 hours every day, going through masses of small brushes every week. It draws the viewer into the work through tone that shapes the building deceptively into a 3D image. Ambrus also uses the lines within the tiles to add to the illusion and heightens this further through continuing the linework onto the floor. The tone and depth in the hole also draws the viewer in and
is a nod to the crumbling infrastructure of America that is not being prioritised by its leader. Proportionally Trump seems small and weak in comparison to Dorothy who takes a defiant stance. This piece is full of symbolism bound to engage the viewer for long after viewing the piece. Dorothy's stance, directly taken from the 'Fearless Girl' statue by Kristen Visbal shows her confronting Trump³. The empty glass jars represent the empty promises made by both Trump and the Wizard and the poppies represent the drug crisis in America (and linking to Dorothy falling asleep in a field of poppies) complete with a figure climbing out of the hole representing those trying to free themselves from drug addiction.

These artists put their ideas, values, concerns and lives intotheir works. Ambrus talks of how art pieces shift and change with events as they happen. This applies to events both in her own life and in those of the subject, allowing for a raw insight into the lives of the artists when viewing their works. The time, effort and love put into the works can be seen clearly, as well as the artist's feelings of anger toward the subject which has been deeply scrutinised. The issues raised here are deeply rootedinto America's society and the women display this in the art -
drawing attention to each of the subtly portrayed issues. Their analogies draw these issues into tough and paint Trump in a very negative light, but will this play out to be true? Will the promises remain unfulfilled? And will his big act be revealed to be no more than a Wizard's facade as portrayed by the artists direct comparison with the Wizard of Oz?

Ambrus, C (2018). False Perspectives [images] taken by J Moss 16 May 2018
Associated Press (2018). Fearless Girl. [image] Available at: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20170417/OPINION/
170419905/fearless-girl-is-an-advertisement-statestreet-should-pay-to-show-it [Accessed 19 May 2018].
L, Michael (2018). "False Impressions" an Art Exhibition by Caroline Ambrus and Lucile Carson Meetup. [online] Meetup. Available at: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/Best-of-Canberra-
Social-Meetup-Group/events/250401421/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].
Moss, J (2018). Interview of Caroline Ambrus. [interview] [Conducted on 19 May 2018] *referenced as 'Ambrus, C' in text.
Tuggeranong Arts Centre (2018). Consequences - Tuggeranong Arts Centre. [online] Available at: https://www.tuggeranongarts. com/events/consequences/ [Accessed 19 May 2018].