Aussie Art Star Ian Burns Assembles Jumbo Aviation-Themed Contraption for Melbourne Art Fair

Ian Burns stands in front of his sculpture, “Cloud”

MELBOURNE — Although it wouldn’t fit through my door, let alone in my living room, Ian Burns’s huge sculptural kinetic assemblage, produced for the Melbourne Art Fair as part of their Melbourne Art Foundation Commission project, would be a great conversation starter at awkward dinner parties.

Chosen as Commission Artist for the 2012 Melbourne Art Fair, Ian Burns, a New York-based Australian artist who is represented by the Melbourne and Sydney gallery Anna Schwartz Gallery, spent several months as the Artist in Residence at the Yarra Valley winery Domaine Chandon. During that time he developed his work for the Commission, which links the technological screen with embodied experience.


Burns’s imposing sculptural form, titled “Cloud,” presents the viewer with a pseudo-cinematic series of scenes that suggest a narrative, but have no ending. Amazingly, the scenes are generated within the sculpture itself and are based on images of motion, specifically flight. Ladders, toys, tables, lights, salad bowls, and other everyday items are repurposed towards the live re-creation of imagery portraying the clichéd cinematic sublimity of air travel.

“By the inventive nature of the construction, and the use of commonplace objects to create believable live video renditions of apparently real footage,” a Melbourne Art Foundation press release explains, “Burns' work encourages a playful spirit of investigation.” As part of the project, the commissioned work is gifted to an Australian public gallery or museum, as announced at the beginning of the Fair — this year's commission is being donated to the Art Gallery of South Australia.

In addition to the Melbourne Art Fair Commission, Burns has an upcoming solo exhibition and commission at Melbourne's Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and an exhibition at Mother's Tankstation in Dublin. His work at the 2012 Melbourne Art Fair will remain on view through the end of the fair on Sunday August 5.

To a slideshow of images of Burns’ Melbourne Art Fair Commission click the slideshow.

This article appears on ARTINFO Australia.