CtC’s Artist of the Month for December is the multi-disciplinary artist Nick Mangan (Geelong, Victoria, Australia 1979). He currently lives and works in Melbourne.
Across history and science, culture and natural phenomena, Nicholas Mangan works using different techniques. He interrogates narratives embedded in a diverse range of objects. Deeply interested in the processes of forming meaning and unpacking possible stories from objects and nature, Mangan creates unnerving drawings, montages, sculptures and installations. His complex works often deal with subjects that comprehend time in a precise and sometimes extravagant manner: mineral exploitation and island geopolitics, climate science and neo-imperialism, theories of economy as much as paleoecology.
He addresses a wide range of themes, including consumerism, the ongoing impacts of colonialism, global political economy, humanity’s fraught relationship with the natural environment.
Mangan’s projects seem, at first, to align with the popular concept of the Anthropocene, according to which humankind’s innate abuse of the Earth has summoned a new geological era of climate catastrophe. In a sense, Mangan could be described as a landscape artist in the guise of a researcher or a capricious listener; he depicts the raw materials that comprise the Earth’s crust by signalling the economic and social cost of their extraction.
In a recent exhibition at the Chisenhale Gallery, London, he investigated into the relationship between energy and social transformation, in a more extended research into the physical and conceptual power of the sun and the role that it has played in human economy, culture and technology throughout history. He created a solar-powered installation that was presented afterwards at Sydney’s Artspace.
Mangan’s latest research into the relationship between culture and nature includes the acclaimed Nauru: ‘Notes from a Cretaceous World’ (2010). He investigated the economic and political implications of our engagement with the material world, in order to facilitate new understandings of the structures and systems that govern our environment.
He has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. In 2016 he will present a major survey exhibition at MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art), Melbourne and the IMA (Institute of Modern Art), Brisbane. His recent major installation ‘Other Currents’ was presented at Artspace, Sydney, 2015 and Ancient Lights at Chisenhale Gallery, London in 2015. He exhibited at the 13th Istanbul Biennial, 2013.
For the month of January, CtC will present a selection of Nick Mangan’s works on the Facebook and Twitter pages.
Check the CtC pages regularly to see the next one.