Meagan Streader: A Window is a Square Horizon
⬤ 27 Jul - 22 Aug 2020
Today, corporations … dictate the development of a graphic device that must positively project an “all-encompassing” visual image. This requirement underscores the difficulties encountered in designing a trademark that is a mark of individuality, while at the same time having the qualities of universal application.
—Lester Beal, The trademark: a graphic summation of individuality (1968).
The awareness of one’s position in relation to the (Minimalist) object and perception of the object’s orderly presence makes possible an awareness of one’s position in relationship to the universe. The provocation of that awe is the object’s function.
—Buzz Spector, Objects and Logotypes (1980).
Meagan Streader’s current exhibition at MARS Gallery, A Window is a Square Horizon, comprises a collection of eight small sculptural works with a pronounced two-dimensionality, a deviation from the immersive, site-specific interventions for which she is known. Streader is an early-career Australian artist working in the lineage of both Minimalism and the Californian Light and Space movement. Most texts available on Streader describe her practice as an investigation of light and its impact on sensory experience. While this suffices as seductive PR, it is a tired, typical narrative commonly attributed to artists that work in a technologically curious Minimalist style. It serves to subdue more informed engagements with the work and its implications as a commercial cultural object that both constitutes, and responds to, tendencies in design and architecture, and accepted ways of seeing and interacting with art. (And, moreover, it blindly adheres to the already rather dubious narrative built around the Light and Space movement.) What I see in these sculptures and their evocation of the “windows” of contemporaneity is something more compelling and sinister. For these reasons, A Window is a Square Horizon is worthy of deeper consideration.