Social Concrete is an exhibition by Australian artist Jesse Hogan. The concept of the show is centered around the relationships between Images - Objects & Text__looking at the way social function and meaning is transformed in the Art Object. Social Concrete looks at the boundaries between photography, painting, conceptual art and sculpture as well as the boundaries between art and design. Hogan will exhibit a selection of neon works, constructed objects and graphic designs, including collaborations and works from other International and Tokyo based artists.

Artists set up situations / audiences re-act. Through audiences interaction work is created. Interaction generates artwork! We could think of Art as a transference of matter into communication, Objects even without utility possess a social function, A Social Concreteness. An object does not only possess creative and social meaning because of its reference or similarity to something else, nor only as a metaphor. It can possess its own potential, in its own terms, because in our perception it has a concrete reality. This is an idea concerning ontology, of what exists and what is real both physical and ideal.

“Let us take, for example, a bronze statue. The bronze, the statue’s raw material, obeys physical and chemical laws yet we cannot view the statue as a mere lump of bronze, for it is a work of art that expresses our ideals. It appeared by means of the unifying power of our ideals. The unifying activity of the ideals and the physical laws that control the raw material belong to different spheres, and in no way do they clash with each other ... When we see our favorite flower or pet animal, we immediately grasp a certain unifying reality in the whole. This reality is the thing’s self, its fundamental nature or noumenon. Artists are people who most excel in this kind of intuition. They discern at a glance the truth of a thing and grasp its unifying reality. What they then express is not a superficial fact but an unchanging noumenal reality hidden deep within things”. [Reality / Nature – Kitaro Nishida, Zen no kenkyu – 1921]

Consider this, Painting opens up a potentiality in space where there is none. Although a flat surface occupies valuable conceptual space, an image occupying that surface or field is able to create a space where previously there was only vast possibilities. The edge of an image penetrates into the certainty of the world. Hanging there in liminality somewhere between material texture and optical replication - Painting fills a vacuum into which the painter’s idea or vision intervenes in a position that was previously a context ordered by a different intention. 

“[The] quasi-object is not an object, but it is one nevertheless, since it is not a subject, since it is in the world: it is also a quasi-subject, since it marks or designates a subject who, without it, would be a subject”. [The Parasite - Michel Serres, 1982]

The never ending feedback loop of object-relation / relation-object, which the philosopher Michel Serres expresses through his term “quasi-object,” is a fitting description for the ever shifting way in which we understand the world through physical matter. Instability, volatility, and fragmentation might also be apt descriptors of the objects made by the producers exhibiting in Social Concrete.  Central to the work of Jesse Hogan’s selected group exhibition, is the question of how we might navigate the complex set of relations between humans and objects. In the work of each artist, we can trace subtle unravelling and disruption of sculptural traditions, a playing with both physical and immaterial content, and a conscious confusion of familiar signs and symbols, and narrative frameworks that bring a unique poetics of object hood to the forefront. (H.U.O)

Imagine there is a balloon traversing across the sky. All around is a blue field, and somewhere in all that is a white hovering floppy bag. It begins to fall slowly and eventually it flops on to the ground in front of you. Ha, this is how to think of a kind of sculpture of now. It’s not certain or defined in form nor does it tell us what it is or should be. It just sits waiting to find itself as a thing in your mind. So too can a piece of plastic coated in dust placed on a mound of concrete occupy a space in a way that awaits definition. 

What about your vacuum cleaner, does it tell you about your life? Maybe if you cut it perfectly in half you could find a history of your past amidst the debris of your lounge room floor. These are the kind of thoughts that can form sculpture in the contemporary moment. Art can be a slow self-conscious occurring analysis. Like a slab of concrete able to slowly change shape and being aware that if it happens too fast or is noticeable by an observer its formation will crack. It is a very slow self-transforming occurrence – Social Concrete