2004- Australian Culture Now
Labrador is the flagship Ocular Lab project. It is based on the participation and acknowledgement of some or all of the core members of the gallery. It is an opportunity to contemplate and discuss the role of the group and the gallery in relation to each individual's core practice and future projects for or outside of the Ocular Lab. Often, these discussions are consumed over a dinner table, at a bar or at an opening, amplifying the social nature of dialogue and participation. Whilst Labrador (October 2003) was a vehicle to introduce and initiate the Ocular Lab into the art community in general, Labrador #2 is specifically intended as a collaborative experiment, representing what neighbourly relevance there is, if any, amongst its participants and towards the art community at large. Whilst ACMI and NGV Federation Square can geographically claim a neighbourly relationship, the Ocular Lab aims to draw attention and amplify the fickleness of distance and exaguration of locality through a psuedo-colonisation of the space in between.
Ocular Lab is an artists project Space, initiated for the purpose of encouraging and extending dialogue and experimentation amongst its core group, peers and associates. Ocular Lab has evolved through professional activities, discussions and relationships established over time. It builds on the histories of 'h' projects (1997-1998) and Ocular Lab's past incarnation (2000 -2001), as well as numerous off site projects and collaborations. Ocular Lab is established as a site for experimental and alternative models of artistic representation and activity that encourages the development of professional practice, including commercial outcomes through sales, commissions and grants. However, it is principally through experimentation, discussion and participation that the Ocular Lab envisages an alternative to mainstream opportunities. Strong relationships have been forged through past projects, and are set to continue with artists in: Berlin, Oslo, Liverpool, Tokyo, Japan, Singapore, Milan and Cairo. The core group consists of artists: John Abbate, Damiano Bertoli. Sandra Bridie. Julie Davies. Raafat Ishak. Sean Loughrey. Sally Mannall. Louise Paramor. Alex Rizkalla. Bernhard Sachs and Kirsten Rann.