Beth Caird, Epyllion, 2018

what should I do now, with my hands? Beth Caird

11 July 2018 - 4 August 2018

Do we care for anything but mystery? And does anything matter more than its apprehension? During our days, we try so hard to find and hold it; at night, we find it then can't remember. Though our nights and days begin, unfold and end, soaked in it, we want schedules, agendas, and appointments to give mystery dumb order. A birthday does that. A supermarket. A handgun. A phone book. A driver's permit. These form the diary of our days.

- Bill Wagner on William Eggleston's 2 and 1/4. 

“What is the point. That is what must be borne in mind. Sometimes the point is really who wants what. Sometimes the point is what is right or kind. Sometimes the point is a momentum, a fact, a quality, a voice, an imitation, a thing that is said or unsaid. Sometimes it's who's at fault, or what will happen if you do not move at once. The point changes and goes out. You cannot be forever watching for the point, or you lose the simplest thing: being a major character in your own life. But if you are, for any length of time, custodian of the point-- in art, in court, in politics, in lives, in rooms-- it turns out there are rear-guard actions everywhere. To see a thing clearly, and when your vision of it dims, or when it goes to someone else, if you have a gentle nature, keep your silence, that is lovely. Otherwise, now and then, a small foray is worthwhile. Just so that being always, complacently, thoroughly wrong does not become the safest position of them all. The point has never quite been entrusted to me.”
 - Renata Adler, Speedboat (New York Review of Books, 1972).

what should I do now, with my hands? takes on the form of a collaged Epyllion or "little epic" poem through video and text layering fictional and biographical stories of grief, loss and discontinuation of familial events. Epyllion poems were created in Ancient Roman times, a time beyond living memory,  and not formalised by the common language until the 19 Century.  The poem narrates the doings of those who have passed, who gave shape to the moralities that their descendants (the poet and audience) must interpret to fully understand themselves as living beings.

Constructed over the course of three years using footage from various alpine regions throughout Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, this exhibition brings together Caird's continuation of a focus on grief processes and life-after-death experiences, self-made myths and the truth buried under fabrications. The exhibition features a kind-of prologue by Canadian-based, New Zealand artist Faith Wilson, developed during her time of relocation, from Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington to Fernie, Canada, on the land of the Ktunaxa people, one place of remoteness to another. 

Beth Caird graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Photography) Honours from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2014. She has exhibited in multiple solo and group exhibitions, including: Rules for Leaving a Small Town, West Space (2014); The Bureau of Writing at the 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016); and recently curated a group exhibition, There Is A Pain - So Utter at Gertrude Glasshouse. As a writer and editor, her work has appeared in various publications including: Interview with Patrick Staff, un Magazine 9.2 (2015); sub-editor with Aodhan Madden for un Magazine 9.1 and 9.2 with Editor Pip Wallis (2015); Beth was asked to present work on Chris Kraus' book Where Art Belongs at the Royal College of Art conference in 2013. Beth is a current Gertrude Contemporary Studio Artist (2017-2019). 

Faith Wilson is a Samoan and Pakeha artist and writer from Aotearoa/New Zealand, currently living in Fernie, Canada, on the land of the Ktunaxa people. Through writing poetry, she attempts to understand herself and her world, using personal experiences such as cultural dislocation, self hatred and self love, generational trauma, to anchor the writing in something real, with the hope that there are others who connect to these experiences. She experiments with writing off the page and in different spaces, accompanied my moving or still images, or on gallery walls. She has published in many local and international journals such as Poetry Magazine, Runway, Sport and Ika and completed a residency in Winnipeg, Canada with Chris Kraus in 2017. She has exhibited throughout New Zealand in group and solo shows, most recently at Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin, with her exhibition Confessions of a Teenage Afakasi. You can follow her on instagram @up_and_glo.