Labour Lexica

Maki Morita, Luce Nguyễn-Hunt & Lachlan Marley

Curated by Ada Coxall, Coral Guan & Sebastian Kainey

Linden Projects Space
17 November > 23 December 2022

Linden Projects Space is proud to present Labour Lexica, a curated exhibition featuring the work of local emerging artists Maki Morita, Luce Nguyễn-Hunt and Lachlan Marley.

Labour Lexica is a group exegesis on labour. Drawn together under the themes of work, precarity and language, three artists respond to their perceptions and experiences of work as expressed through bodily, lexical and material conditions. The precariat is a position inhabited by many, with artists and arts workers in the ranks. While they may be subjected to and even complicit in the logics of labour and capital, an awareness and refusal of this position still finds expression.

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Please note > we apologise for any inconvenience, the Linden Projects Space is not wheelchair accessible.

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IMAGE > [Top] Maki Morita, dance piece [installation view], 2022.
Image courtesy of the artist. Photograph: Sebastian Kainey.

IMAGE > Lachlan Marley, I bid you stand & Untitled Burnt Painting 01-04 [installation view], aluminium screeds, canvas, gel medium, digital inket prints, aluminium, chemset. Image courtesy of the artist. Photograph: Sebastian Kainey.

IMAGE > Luce Nguyễn-Hunt, Everlasting Nail [installation view], 2022, handmade 925 sterling silver nail rings. Image courtesy of the artist.
Photograph: Sebastian Kainey.

In dance piece, Maki Morita draws on her background in theatre-making to lightly poke fun at the Sisyphean slog, riffing on clerical labour, bureaucracy and the choreographed performance of productivity. Lachlan Marley reinterprets familiar materials essential to his work as a concreter, combining them with traditional art materials. By introducing elements of futility to the physical and   mental work of construction, he breaks out of a utilitarian logic into an aesthetic and critical one. In Everlasting Nail, Luce Nguyễn-Hunt has fashioned a set of sterling silver rings to be worn over fingernails. In framing the rings as queer signifiers that can be removed or reapplied, Luce explores codeswitching and the politics of refusing to explicate and share certain knowledges with those not proximate to one’s own community. 

Curated by Ada Coxall, Coral Guan and Sebastian Kainey, Labour Lexica veers away from solution-oriented inquiry, employing both irreverence and sincerity to conduct a series of refusals and reversals.

> The artists and curators behind Labour Lexica wish to acknowledge that this exhibition was developed on Wurundjeri land and staged on the lands of the Bunurong Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin nation, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

I was re-thinking the function of tools, labor, and respite and these themes were definitely influential to the work. After wresting with various forms I settled with the burnt paintings and the futile chair for their promise of respite and leisure. A promise which could be manipulated throughout the process of making. I wanted to see what would happen if I corrupted the functionality and future promises of these objects to see how my symbolic and physical relationship to them might change. This could be seen as breaking them out of a utilitarian logic and into an aesthetic and critical one.

Lachlan Marley, 2022

Maki Morita

Maki Morita is a writer and performance-maker living and working on unceded Wurundjeri country. Maki is currently remounting her play Trash Pop Butterflies, Dance Dance Paradise(reading at fortyfivedownstairs, live season TBA in 2023). She is a 2022 Wheeler Centre Playwright Hot Desk Fellow and has participated in Express Media’s Toolkits: Fiction program. Recent or forthcoming panels, readings and workshops include those at National Young Writers Festival, Feminist Book Week, Yardstick and The Wheeler Centre.In 2020, Maki graduated with a Master of Theatre (Writing) from the Victorian College of the Arts, where she was awarded the Portland House Theatre Outreach scholarship. She was fortunate to receive the 2022 George Fairfax Memorial Award, which allowed her to travel to New York and receive mentorship from experimental playwright Sibyl Kempson—founder of 7Daughters of Eve Thtr & Perf. Co.

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IMAGE > Portrait of Maki Morita. Image courtesy of the artist.
IMAGE > [above] Lachlan Marley, I bid you stand [installation view], aluminium screeds, canvas, gel medium, digital inket prints, aluminium, chemset.
Image courtesy of the artist.

IMAGE > Portrait of Lachlan Marley. Image courtesy of the artist.

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Lachlan Marley

Lachlan Marley’s multi-disciplinary approach encompasses painting, sculpture, and site-specific installation. Informed by the materials of practicality in his day job as a concreter, Marley is interested in suspending the constructive trajectory of the pre-supposed narrative embodied in the materials of the built landscape. By doing so, he attempts to imbue chosen mediums with a linguistic function; out of which a conversation about contemporary pathos and aesthetics induced by the built landscape can take place. Marley explores unmaking as a means of making, through the use of industrial tools, glues, aluminium, concrete composites, structural timber, tie wire and fire. His installations reveal a poetic appreciation of space and surface, drawing from Irish lore, Greek myth and an affinity with industrial tools and materials.

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Luce Nguyễn-Hunt

Luce Nguyễn-Hunt is an emerging Vietnamese, Sāmoan and Rarotongan artist currently based in Naarm. Their research-based practice documents an evolving cultural gender-sexuality divergence through digitally manipulated moving image and photography installations. Using poetry, text, and sound as an embodiment of cultural memory, they are interested in dissecting non-linguistic experiences in the face of non-or partial language knowledge. In 2021, Nguyễn-Hunt co-founded ANTHEM ARI, an artist-run initiative dedicated to celebrating the practices of First Nations, diasporic, and LGBTQIA+ identifying creatives of colour in Australia. Given the precarity of the arts industry, they have traversed professional roles as a curator, arts worker and installation technician. Viewed as an extension of their arts practice, their curatorial work hopes to champion emerging creatives who are becoming leaders and active voices, to share their stories and encourage us to share ours.

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IMAGE > Portrait of Luce Nguyễn-Hunt. Image courtesy of the artist.