Confessions, Tony Albert’s solo presentation at Contemporary Art Tasmania during 2019 Dark Mofo, represents the artist’s first engagement with the idea of performance and is a starting point from which to examine the potentialities of non-verbal communication. Having grown up within the Catholic Church himself, Albert’s new commission reveals the potential which the act of confession allows by eliminating visual and auditory barriers from the exchange including complications around gender.
Confessions presents iconic works from the last ten years as well as new commissions. The installation includes a confession-style booth within which Albert engages non-verbally with one member of the public at a time via a single sheet of paper on which artist and participant exchange hand-drawn marks in a form of abstract conversation. Passing the paper between one another, as in the conversational structure of a standard confessional, the communication is ended at the point at which the artist adds his signature to the paper and hands the work to ‘The confessor’. In this way each participant in the performance is also effectively a collaborator and leaves with a completed artwork.
Confessions has allowed Albert the opportunity to work closely with the local Tasmanian Aboriginal community. Outcomes of the project produced with invited members of the community prior to the official duration of the performance will be displayed throughout the exhibition space.