16 November 2019 15 March 2020
Kerry Gardner & Andrew Myer Project Gallery
Laura Couttie
Included with Museum Pass
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Shannon Lyons is a multi-disciplinary artist who explores the complex relationships that exist between art and its context. Her works take the form of installations, sculptures, gestures and interventions that critically examine the sites where they are made or exhibited.

Dark Kitchen is a site-specific exhibition that responds to the unique social and institutional histories of Heide. Lyons responds to the communal and convivial environments that John and Sunday Reed created for artists, and references the kitchen and living spaces that are still on display to visitors in Heide I, the original farmhouse, and Heide II, the modernist residence.

The term ‘dark kitchen’ refers to recent innovations developed to service the growing food delivery industry. Also referred to as ‘ghost kitchens’ or ‘virtual kitchens’, these spaces operate out of public sight to produce meals exclusively for the online orders market. They are designed for minimal social interaction and maximum efficiency—conveyor belts for production, pick up and distribution. By shining a light on an activity that usually occurs behind closed doors, Lyons infuses the supposedly non-commercial, contemplative space of the museum with a commentary on contemporary capitalist structures.

Drawing on the histories of conceptual art and institutional critique, Lyons’ installation presents a playfully subversive exploration of the behind-the-scenes mechanics of cultural institutions. By inserting a false wall into the space she emphasises the passage-like nature of the Project Gallery and invites connections between the design of the gallery and that of a dark kitchen. In doing so, Lyons prompts us to question whether we are now consuming art with the same immediacy as we are consuming food. And if that is the case, what, if anything, is lost?

View the online catalogue