Ian Burns – ‘Extended Stage’ Installation [SYD]

Here’s art that we really like, and once again it’s tapped in to geographical and architectural features that were pre-existing, begging for exposure. Sharing some similarities between Michael Heizer and urban exploration (I’m sure there’s a theme here for what lights us up) comes Extended Stage, an underground exhibition and space from New York-based Australian-born artist Ian Burns.

Burns is the current artist in residence for UTS, having spent the last eleven weeks preparing Too Much Is Real, his first solo exhibition in Sydney that recently closed at the UTS galleries. Fortunately, the crowning-piece that is Extended Stage was given a slightly longer life as an off-site installation, running this week until the 17th of April.

Hosted in a disused train tunnel that runs underneath Sydney (who knew right?), the venue is just as important as the cabinets of oddities that greet you along the way. The short walk along the tracks is a rare insight in to some spectacular architecture and a world forgotten. The cavernous archway and the accompanying 19th century sandstone bridge really make this a special visit, and remind us that we need to spend more time in boarded up areas.

The path to the centre stage is flanked by sensor-triggered works from Burns. Music, fog, water and animation are among the elements harnessed by Burns as unique pieces that not only compliment each other but also seem to react specifically to the space they’re displayed in.

Get down while you can, though not much time left with the tunnel being closed off once more when the installation ends on Thursday. It’s free, and happening just behind the gallery itself, on the southern-end of The Goods Line. Head in to Central Station and access the tunnel from the pedestrian subway of Railway Square, headed towards Darling Harbour.

Nice video interview with Burns below from the Sydney Morning Herald, information from the gallery beneath that.

Inventive New York-based Australian artist, Ian Burns is UTS Gallery’s 2014 Artist-in-Residence. Preoccupied with that revealing moment when we experience the beautiful and the ridiculous at the same time, he creates curious and playful kinetic assemblages that combine mass-produced domestic objects with intricate electronics, sound and light.

Over the last eleven weeks, Burns has taken over the gallery, using part of it to present his first ever solo exhibition in Sydney, Too Much Is Real and transforming the remainder into an intensive studio space. His residency has culminated in a charismatic new body of work developed especially for the tunnel and its 1853 sandstone bridge. Intertwining unexpected phenomena with a wry mix of new media and nostalgia, the project draws on the atmosphere and history of this overlooked site.

“Extended Stage creates moments of small spectacle around a rare opportunity for the viewer to explore an unusual space, in the end creating a spectacle of the process of investigation itself.”