Photography & particle accelerators: Harry Nankin & Chris Henschke at RMIT Gallery

Harry Nankin installing his work Syzgy at RMIT Gallery as part of the exhibition Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts (until 18 February 2017)

In the final of our public programs for the exhibition Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts at RMIT Gallery (17 November – 18 February 2016) join us at RMIT Gallery on Tuesday 13 December from 12.30-1.30 pm when photographer Harry Nankin and artist Chris Henschke talk about their work.

In Harry Nankin’s work (pictured above) nine, multi-panel palimpsests are displayed on light boxes, and lake Tyrell in the semi-arid Mallee region of Victoria becomes semi-arid land as the impact of the contemporary ecological crisis finds its root and branch in starlight and shadowgram as live invertebrates mourn the age of the anthropocene.

The work ‘photo-poetically’ memorializes this erasure, resurrecting the dry lakebed into a focal plane upon which primal starlight is used to imprint photographic films on moonless nights. The environmental disease at the heart of this work is human-made: as we lay waste to our planet, the stars are slowly going out.

The prepared images include rare astronomical glass plate negatives from the telescopes at Mount Palomar (USA) and Siding Spring (Australia) and camera-less photographs of live native anthropods gathered from the lake’s shore.

Harry Nankin’s work honours the lost sacrament and acts as a metaphor for our global ecological predicament.


About Harry Nankin: Harry Nankin is an Australian photo media artist and educator. In 1993 Nankin put aside the camera altogether and he has been creating ‘photograms’ (and occasionally ‘chemograms’) in the studio and on location in forest, desert, atop mountains and under the sea.

Chris Henschke with his work Song of the Phenomena, opening night, Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts at RMIT Gallery. Photo by Vicki Jones.

Chris Henschke’s work explores anti-matter as we bare witness to how radiation is released by organic matter. Using an actual particle accelerator, the work shows how the humble banana emits antimatter on a regular basis. In an age where we fear the way antimatter impacts upon the nature of everyday life and the workings of the cosmos, we see how the organic itself brings potential dissolution to the human world.

About Chris Henschke

Chris Henschke is an artist and researcher who works with digital and analogue media and high-energy physics. He has exhibited around Australia and internationally, and has undertaken art residencies at the Australian Synchrotron, supported by an Arts Victoria Arts Innovation grant (2008), and the Australia Council for the Arts Synapse program (2010). He has developed and lectured courses in time based and interactive media at RMIT University, Monash University, and the ‘Art vs Science’ seminar series at the University of Melbourne Victorian College of the Arts. Currently, he is undertaking a Doctorate of Philosophy at Monash University, which includes on-site work at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland, as part of the ‘art@CMS’ collaboration.


What: Hanny Nankin and Chris Henschke artist talk

When: Tuesday 13 December 12.30-1.30 pm

Where: RMIT Gallery 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Free: register for tickets

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s