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As Soon As Conditions Become

Normal Again


Single-channel filmic chapter within the multi-channel film Attending to Agnes

4 min 58 sec


The juggle between personal and collective ethics is literally documented in As Soon As Conditions Become Normal Again, a film within a film that uses the condition report of Agnes Goodsir’s painting in the Bendigo Art Gallery collection as a means to write one for the larger film itself.  In doing so, the work uses the vocabulary of the original document—a vocabulary that is at once explicitly sexual and obsessionally administrative—to inscribe a feminine subjectivity between the lines of an institutional requirement.


Attending to Agnes is a multi-channel film made by artists Seecum Cheung, Maike Hemmers, Pilar Mata Dupont, Isabelle Sully and Flora Woudstra. The film presents their varied viewpoints and voices collectively in responding to Agnes Goodsir’s painting Girl with a Cigarette (circa 1925) and her accompanying life and oeuvre. Finding each other through similar situation to how Goodsir once found herself—that is, living in a city that is not their own after having moved to study—the group decided to undertake a residency in Paris, visiting and working in spaces Goodsir frequented and treating her as a metaphorical host and tour-guide to collaboratively develop a feminist practice of solidarity, intimacy, conflict and friendship across geographies and through the social infrastructure of the film.


Attending to Agnes was commissioned for the exhibition New Histories at Bendigo Art Gallery, curated by Jessica Bridgefoot and running from April 13  July 29, 2018. It included Denis Chapman, Seecum Cheung, Maike Hemmers, Pilar Mata Dupont, Isabelle Sully & Flora Woudstra, Gabrielle de Vietri, FAMILY FIRST! (Devon Ackermann & Paul Yore), Juan Ford, Andrew Goodman, Bridie Lunney, Phuong Ngo, Jacques Soddell and Christian Thompson.

In New Histories contemporary artists reimagine ten historic works from the nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian and European collection of Bendigo Art Gallery. Informed by technological, social, environmental, political and historical events that have occurred since the original work’s creation, artists in the exhibition revisit interpretations of Australian and European histories through the lens of contemporary culture. New Histories challenges the nature of art as historic record and the role of the artist and the museum as documenter, and commentator of the world.

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