A cinematic exploration of human and ecological fragility in an age of increasing anxiety, denial and isolation, internationally renowned artist Jacobus Capone will debut Beating Heart – the largest exhibition of his works to date – at the Fremantle Arts Centre from 23 July 2021.
“As one of Western Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists, Capone’s practice has steadily gained momentum over the last decade, with a number of international exhibitions and residencies to his name,” said Erin Coates, Fremantle Arts Centre’s Special Projects Curator.
“We are thrilled to present his largest exhibition to date here at FAC, which ponders the big questions of one’s mortality and spirituality in the face of nature’s decline, imbued by a sense of awe and dark optimism that is typical of Capone’s work.”
At the centre of the exhibition is Echo & Abyss (2018), an epic 10-channel video installation, shown in its entirety for the first time. A homage to Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies – a monologue of the poet coming to terms with human existence – Echo & Abyss plunges audiences into sublime, frozen landscapes, including the Greenlandic ice sheet and Sierre in Switzerland, where the poet was laid to rest.
From journeying to the depths of a cave to devotionally documenting the death of leaves from trees surrounding Rilke’s home, this unfolding pilgrimage sees Capone voyage to remote and fragile landscapes, capturing intimate moments between man and nature that symbolise both our desire for unity and our complicity in its demise.
“Blending poetic fiction and reality, the project embraces a sense of hopelessness in order to more readily accept inevitable extinction,” said Capone. “The desire to reconcile one’s relationship with the world around them is juxtaposed with that “world” being put at risk by humankind itself.”
Also showing as part of Beating Heart is Perdition & Prayer (2020-ongoing) – a delicate series of works on paper, featuring copper leaf, volcanic ash and glacial water on Japanese Mingeshi paper.
The shapes and markings rendered on each work are drawn from Capone’s back catalogue of performative work, in effect building a personal iconography that seeks to honour the artist’s influences, while reflecting humanity’s desire to seek meaning within an increasingly turbulent environment.
Thanatousia features 34 handmade flags, one for every year of the artist’s life. A ritualised, lifelong project, the flags alternate through three phrases: You will die. I will die. We will die. A collaboration between Capone and his mother, Maria Gomes, who was a flag maker, Thanatousia seeks to psychologically confront one’s mortality by surrendering to it.
“It’s an honour to be able to exhibit these three intertwined projects across the whole south wing of Fremantle Arts Centre, a space that I’ve long admired for its ambitious programming and variety of content offered to the wider public,” said Capone.
“Over the past year it’s been a privilege to have a studio in the building to develop two major and ongoing projects that will feature. Both being major turning points in my practice.”
Jacobus Capone, born in Perth in 1986, is one of WA’s most compelling artists to have emerged over recent years. He received his Bachelor of Visual Arts from Edith Cowan University in 2007, graduating with a work that saw him cross Australia by foot over 147-days to pour water which he carried from the Indian Ocean, into the Pacific.
Recent major solo exhibitions include: 7 Cuts to the Landscape, Station Sydney (2020); Piteraq, Moore Contemporary, Perth (2020); Dark Learning, UQ Museum Queensland (2019); Sincerity & Symbiosis, Perth Centre for Photography (2019); and Forgiving Night for Day, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (2017).
Jacobus Capone: Beating Heart
Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle
Exhibition: 23 July – 7 September 2021
For more information, visit: www.fac.org.au for details.
Image: Jacobus Capone, Echo & Abyss – Chapter 4, Scene 3 (video still), 2018, synchronised 10 Channel HD video, dimensions variable. Composition by Alex Turley. Image courtesy the artist and Moore Contemporary