November 2024

Art Hole

Words: Melissa Loughnan Images: Misha Hollenbach

As one half of clothing label PAM and the driving force behind art/music super group The Changes, Misha Hollenbach has exhibited nationally and internationally, touring Italy during Milan Design Week and at such venues as Mu Gallery, Eindhoven and V1 Gallery, Copenhagen. After years of exhibiting collaboratively Misha has just launched his first solo show and is about to embark on two more. Melissa Loughnan catches up with Misha between installs…

Melissa Loughnan: You’ve currently got a show on at Y3K gallery in Melbourne and you’re about to launch another two shows in Japan and Sydney. Did you aim for these exhibitions to coincide or did it just happen that way?

Misha Hollenbach: Well, firstly with a baby imminent, Shauna asked me not to commit to any shows, but I accidentally committed to three. One in Y3K (Melbourne), Black & Blue (Sydney) and Tokyo. To make things even more hectic I planned them close together, with the one in Sydney I thought being in December. Last week I found out that the date was in November, meaning (unbeknownst to me!) I had double booked openings for November 4, one in Sydney, one in Tokyo. Luckily the “chilled out dudes” at Black & Blue were cool with cutting my show short a week, and opening a week later on Friday the thirteenth! Oh the horror! Hey when it hails, it hails!

ML: Your Y3K show is titled Indispensable Duties. Does this relate to the recent birth of your baby girl or is there more to this story?

MH: Everybody poos. Had to do this as my first show, clear my proverbial bowels, and ‘start’ the (art) day.

ML: So the (brown) poo references in Indispensable Duties are clear, but what does the pink signify?

MH: Bum. Two times pink ball.

ML: What about the fetishist objects, including the oversized dog butt plug, is it safe to say that the show is not just about poo, but primal urges?

MH: It’s about what goes in must come out, or on, or in… P.S. There’s a very fine line between the two: hence the pink/brown ‘whitelite’.

ML: So for your upcoming Japan and Sydney shows, can we expect an extension of your Y3K show or will the work be different?

MH: Japan will be completely different, mostly photographic work and a collab with Peter Sutherland. Sydney: Same shit, different gallery.

ML: You mentioned that Y3K is your first solo show, but you’ve been exhibiting for some time under various aliases (Roland Korg, Boy George Michael, Porkilucci) through your collaborative work with Shauna Toohey, Fergus Purcell and Sk8thng: The Changes. How does your solo work differ to the works produced through The Changes?

MH: The Changes is a free for all, easy to go nuts and spur each other on. It’s also very pop and of the moment. Going solo is asking questions from within, and trying to find the answers from the same place. Kind of a one stop shop for mild insanity and self-inflicted self-exploration. The Changes is a reaction to our surrounds, and the things we love and pay homage to: music, culture, etc… My personal work doesn’t neccessarily rely on these obvious outside forces, it is very internal and in saying that, eternal also, as in will be forever an exploration into my own ideas, observations and aesthetics.

ML: Getting back to your Tokyo show with Peter Sutherland, what is the show about? What is it inspired by? And what was the creative process of translating this inspiration into collaborative work?

MH: Peter sent me through a proposal for a book. Many of the photos were similar to what I had been shooting as part of my daily snaps… as in VERY similar. I proposed we do a book together, kind of a call and response, or even more like the card game Snap. When certain images ‘coincided’, they work as pair. The same but different. Hence the title… Basically each spread has an element or a page that comes from both of us. The show is basically representations of the book in a show form. Large and small scale prints in various mediums: xerox, risograph, screenprint, photographic print and some blankets (woven photos).

ML: So you’re having a solo show at Utopian Slumps’ new space in 2010, anything else lined up for next year?

MH: Fun and… 2010: more!!!

STOOL, Misha Hollenbach
Opening Friday November 13, 6pm-9pm
Black & Blue, 302/267-271 Cleveland St. Redfern, Sydney
Show runs until November 28

SNAP! Peter Sutherland & Misha Hollenbach
Opening Wednesday November 4, 6pm-9pm
Gallery Target, Tokyo
Show runs until November 18

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