Part of the NGV Festival of Photography, Patrick Pound: The Great Exhibition is the first comprehensive exhibition of the New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based artist. An avid collector, Patrick Pound is equally interested in systems and the ordering of objects: an attempt, perhaps, to make things coherent. As Pound says, ‘to collect is to gather your thoughts through things’.
Through complex arrangements and installations of objects drawn from the artist’s expansive archives, Pound’s work playfully and poetically explores the art of collecting, and the ways in which things can hold and project ideas.
For this exhibition Pound has created several vast new collections, which he describes as ‘museums of things’. Objects that are seemingly redundant or overlooked are meticulously collected by the artist and put back into ‘use’ in these museums.
There are museums of falling, sleepers, and of holes. The Museum of there not there houses objects ranging from a souvenir spoon to a mask, a mourning locket to a painted ruin – one thing standing in for another. Within each museum a new logic or narrative is created for the viewer to unravel or identify.
In several of Pound’s museums, works from the NGV Collection are grouped into their own categories or sit alongside his ‘things’, with the artist inviting us to rethink these works and consider what it means to collect.