In the early 2010s, Marian Tubbs was an up-and-coming Sydney artist associated with the wave of post-internet art, which, at the time, offered an aesthetic skewed toward the digital. As with any cutting-edge cultural projections, these works now feel slightly dated.
Over the past decade, Tubbs has grown increasingly interested in the physical world, turning to sculpture and print while continuing to mine the logic of a daily life contoured by the internet. Her latest exhibition, “resort work,” suggests a more mature way of thinking about the virtual elements intruding on our corporeal environment. Within the five digital prints on luster displayed here, Tubbs presents sites of leisure eerily void of any human presence. No one floats in the inflatable tubes along the lazy river (all works 2022). The artist constructs and compacts a plethora of unrelated images, to the point that viewers may struggle to decipher what they are seeing. In i will do all the work i will just do it all wrong, brown stilettos are dwarfed by oversize soap bubbles, while rotting food, duplicated across the picture surface, looks like quartz. Two smears of dark gray might be metal or perhaps a body of water. Tubbs’s visual mazes are all roadblock and no exit.
Cutting diagonally across the gallery is Slipped my mind, a metal sculpture that appears to have been crushed by the same forces that generated the maelstrom of imagery in the prints. Produced in situ in approximately one hour, the sculpture indexes linear real time, creating a dialogue with the architecture of the light railings while grounding the viewer’s body—implied in the digital prints, albeit never represented—in space.