In the chaos of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake a small and symbolic event occurred in the living-working space of artist Julia Morison. As well as most of her objects and art being shaken and dispossessed of their stability, a cabinet containing a collection of liqueurs smashed to the floor. The contents – crème de menthe, amaretto, black sambuca, grenadine, and others – all manner of exotic syrups smashed and spilled, eventually co-mingling with the liquid muck oozing from the rent underworld, now animate like a horror-movie blob. There is something macabrely expressionist, perhaps even surreal – certainly science fictional – in this image of a potent, alcoholic cocktail meeting a B-grade movie purge, a disequilibrium, a heady intoxication coalescing.
What to do with such earth-shattering pandemonium? Morison’s inclination in her art is towards a minimalism – one that often contains or tries to gather the oddments of non-classical, corporeal, untidy nature into an organised state or hermetic object. In the instance of the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, the artistic approach for Morison was to confront the primordial excessiveness created by the earth convulsing and cabinet spewing its contents, to smooth everything out, make stillness and sanity – logic – out of the catastrophe.
- Juliana Engberg
Monochromes in Liqueurfaction I - X, 2011
Liquefaction and various liqueurs on aluminium polyurethane laminate, 10 parts
Presently showing as part of:
All That Was Solid Melts (curated by Juliana Engberg)
Auckland Art Gallery
5 June – 10 October 2021