The Measured Constancy of Matter
“The measured constancy of matter”, introductory essay for the monograph ‘A Remote Dawn – Adam Derums’ Works’. This research contextualises the work of Adam Derums a mid career artist from Western Australia. This book represents the first substantial body of research on this regional artist and represents an extension of my published research interest in artists who explore relations between memory and the ‘real’. In this essay I explore the problematic relations raised by Derums work in relation to the interpretation of previous critical writings that have attempted to place the work within a stylistic reading as works of abstraction. This written piece characterises the material practice of painting in Derums’ works as a physical process of memory deployed by the artist for the purpose of generating new possibilities latent within the rich image field of the periphery of consciousness. These works evoke in their interpreters a desperate desire to place the imagery within the gamut of elusive image forms seen through averted vision, kirlian photography, microscopy, astronomy and other technology assisted ocular platforms. The writing rejects these conventional readings and supports the other authors more radical new readings of the body of work as images which do not seek to represent any type of particularity within experience but to embrace those actualities which are eternally present and constitute the domain of the always already made such as gravity, matter, space and energy. With the example of Alain Badiou’s reading of Wallace Stevens I have sought to define Derums practice as not seeking to represent or depict so much as to be what they actually seem.
A Remote Dawn: The Works of Adam Derum