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May 5, 2017

Alienation and unity with IMMI

Adelaide-based artist Kaspar Schmidt Mumm has created a whole new kind of people to populate IMMI - his new exhibition, which opens tomorrow.

  • Words: Harry Thring
  • Picture of Kaspar: Daniel Marks
  • Pictures of Immi creatures: Emmaline Zanelli

For his latest exhibition, Adelaide artist Kaspar Schmidt Mumm has created the IMMI – a hybrid people, influenced by various cultures from around the world.

They will appear strikingly different to the humans of our world, but Kaspar hopes his audience will find some commonality in that difference, likening the culture to one of Adelaide’s favourite lunchtime options – the Bánh mì: two cultures blended together, and adopted by a third.


IMMI opens at Floating Goose Studios on May 12 at 6pm.

The exhibition is also designed to alienate in a very physical sense. Floating Goose Studio’s door will remain closed for the first 30 minutes of the show’s launch, meaning gallery-goers will be forced to observe Kaspar’s world from outside, through the space’s large Morphett Street window.

And, building on an already-existing them in Kaspar’s work, the border between science and art will again be blurred.

While the opening half-hour of IMMI will be a performance, the remainder of the exhibition is described as an “anthropological survey”. Visitors are invited to explore this unique space and the collection of artefacts displayed within. Fittingly, the exhibition will be opened by John Carty – the Director of Anthropology at the Museum of South Australia.

“I’m interested in the alienation of culture through its specific traditions,” Kaspar says.

“I’m creating an environment and a tribe that is purely out of the idea of who I am, or who everyone around me is.

“I just want to pick and choose bits of all the beautiful cultural elements we have and turn them into something that everyone can practice. Every single culture has damning elements and I’d like to take the good bits and create something everyone can relate to.

“Like Bánh mì’s – it’s a french baguette with Vietnamese fillings, which here in Adelaide has been turned into a sort of tradie sandwich.

“Those are the things I love and I’d love to see more of that happen.”

IMMI is a demonstration of Kaspar’s evolution as an artist towards performance and theatre, and even performance work on film – shown in this case by the ten minute video portraits he has made of the IMMI characters. Despite this, his roots in drawing and painting remain evident in the exhibition.

His love for planes of bright, monochromatic colour form a huge component of his performance aesthetic and he still cites Adelaide’s Christian Lock – a painter who recently opened the newly-launched ACE Open with a series of impressive black, monochromatic canvases – as one of his favourite local artists.

IMMI has drawn Kaspar happily and readily further towards his newest medium.

“I started off drawing and then I went into painting, then sculpture, then installation, and then I started to perform inside of my installations,” he says.

“Now the performance is getting bigger and bigger.

“This time I’ve gone a lot further away from just drawing and painting…I’m using drawing and painting as a sketch pad and creating installation and performance out of that.”

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