Mental Industrial ComplEx


December 2019 - January 2020

About the artwork:

In 2019, Robin was invited to commission a work for the Knox St Window. Mental Industrial ComplEx revisits a similar body of work from the early 2000s where he recorded the movement of mice in miniature fabrications of domestic and office interiors.

From Jerry the Mouse, to Mickey Mouse and the domination of Disney as a mass media producer, the use of mice as a relatable, yet aspirational symbol, sits at ill ease with human use of mice as test subjects in laboratories. Hungerford’s fascination with power dynamics and the side-effects on individuals operating within the ‘rat race’ is at play here, as he presents a 3-minute video of mice within a miniature office environment, where they wreak havoc and perform his work, Mental Industrial ComplEx.

From the curator:

I was introduced to Robin’s work through the 2011 group exhibition ‘Let the Healing Begin’, shown at the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, during the tenure of former-Director Robert Leonard. Robin’s video Like a Hole in the Head featured a simply crafted paper mâché man interrogating and then proceeding to stab his head calmly, over a 5-minute period. The video was mesmerizingly sad and yet funny, the message was simple and relayed slowly, allowing the dark humour to sink in, as fake blood squirted sporadically. I was drawn to the simple elements of craft which juxtaposed against the depth of his message, which Robin has practiced with various mediums, utilising text, video and installation to a common theme.

About the artist:

Robin Hungerford is a multimedia artist who works in video, sculpture and drawing. Hungerford is interested in ideas related to an understanding of the human condition; the realms of consciousness, technology and science are subverted and reconfigured in unique and comic forms in an attempt to highlight esoteric and unusual aspects of our experience. His work has been exhibited in venues across Australia including The Institute of Modern Art, The Australian Experimental Art Foundation, The Campbelltown Arts Centre and the NextWave Festival.