et al.

Maquette for Simultaneous Invalidations

Maquette for Simultaneous Invalidations by et al.

Artwork Detail

This second iteration of the installation Simultaneous Invalidations was exhibited in 2001. Like many of et al.’s installations, it developed out of a previous work, expanding the ideas and materials in a new architectural setting. The creation of this work marks the moment when the artists first used the collective name ‘et al.’, from the Latin et alia meaning ‘and others’.

Since 1991 a variety of pseudonyms had been used by et al. to author works in media including film and video, photography, sculpture and text collage. The adoption of the persona ‘et al.’ signifies a shift towards multiplicity and the transition to an installation-based practice. Et al.’s authorship is also characterised by an aesthetic shift to grey painted walls and floors, distressed industrial surfaces and the increased visibility of computer and acoustic technologies.

As et al., the artists create a plausible other world using materials to hand, from the title of the work to packing tape, diagrams, tables, speakers and found images. In Simultaneous Invalidations a group of tables are in disarray. Leaning wildly one way and another, their legs akimbo, they are contorted by an unknown energy. Speakers attached to the tabletops alert us to the presence of a force in the room by emitting a drone of electronic noise. The scene set before us is of a basement where a mysterious experiment is being conducted. Et al.’s laboratory uses mundane furniture and devices as mediums to draw out an alternate atmospheric condition.

The artists’ experiment with unseen forces alludes to Victorian-era investigations of psychic phenomena and also the more general but persistent desire to pin down elusive ideas, people and places as scientific facts. The critical philosophic question remains: having brought science to bear on the unknown, are we any closer to comprehension?

Maquette for Simultaneous Invalidations
et al.
Production date
wood, paint, plastic, crayon, card, paper, adhesive, tape
190 x 750 x 735 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Jim Barr and Mary Barr, 2011
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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