July 2019 was the starting point for this joint project … and it reactivates once again, our friendship and professional practice which began when we met in 1968 as students at the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide … our current endeavour and intention was/is to consider the space(s) of exhibition making and ways in which to intersect our respective art practices … a situation where we could highlight our ongoing interests in key ‘Art Historical Markers’ … our mutual love of the work of Marcel Duchamp, the importance of Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Fluxus and ‘The Pleasure of the Text’ … so, language, plays a key part in this collaboration … but, moreover, may I suggest that the exhibition has a tendency to reveal a series of conversations that have taken place over the last two years; it is a dialogue made manifest both in concepts and materiality and realised in its ‘object-hood’ … this process had at times been thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic with its stop-start hurdles that were placed in our way … and then! … in September 2020, Nigel was diagnosed with a brain tumour, located in his right occipital lobe which is responsible for visual perception, including colour, form and motion (this was an ironic and ill-timed twist of fate in the light of his interest in the concept of iconophilia) … this crisis prompted a concerted effort in accelerating and completing works and drew us evermore closer together with the knowledge that his condition was terminal … with this sense of inevitability we continued apace in our discussions, exchanges of artworks, and literature ... and, our spirits were continually buoyed by our constant resort to humour … a sample – Never try to teach a pig to sing; it is a waste of time for you and it annoys the pig as well! (Seth Siegelaub) – no pessimistic outlook here or there … and in spite of the fact Nigel passed away peacefully at home on the 24th October 2021, his presence was, and is, still palpable … it is significant to note, that he continued finishing and detailing his work right till the end; it also has to be said and acknowledged, that his body of work has been brought to Brisbane through the extraordinary resilience and coordination of Nigel’s partner Pamela McGrath, his son Axel Debenham-Lendon and Nigel’s close collaborators/artists Emma Beer and Dan Lorrimer … the exhibition is now made visible! … and so, [AS.YET.MAYBE.] NOT A TITLE welcomes you to view these multifaceted works, and to join us in our conversations and propositions … where …
the present is a good time to present the present … (S.S.)
Aleks Danko 17 January 2022
… plus … ‘our’ collective heartfelt thanks go to Josh Milani for his generous support and understanding in seeing this exhibition come to life.