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June 13, 2014

Mr Ist – Last Days

The regeneration of retail space Trims in the form of immersive art space Mr Ist is in its final hours, so be sure you don't miss out.

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  • Photos: Daniel Marks

Kaspar Schmidt Mumm last worked for someone else more than a year ago, and has since been capably supporting himself as an artist – achieving something that will make most art school graduates jealous.

As excited as he is (very) to spend 12 hours a day painting and getting paid, there was still too many ideas swirling around in his head that were going under-utitlised. One night, after spending 12 hours working alongside friend and collaborator Lucas Croall painting features walls for a hotel, Mr Ist was born from a conversation about these ideas.

“I said to Lucas that I really wanted to take my art to a place that was immersive, that had sort of a shop experience mixed with performance art and theatre and stuff. We were just jotting down heaps of ideas and then eventually we had this proposal with references like Lady Gaga’s takeover of Barney’s in New York and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – the ’70s version,” says Kaspar. “It was sort of this thing where we were thinking of having slippery dips running from the second floor down to the first.”

The end result of this creative outpouring is Mr Ist, which doesn’t have any slippery dips or chocolate fountains but has almost everything else. Art is crammed into every nook and cranny and takes the form of anything from installations to murals to a sculpture made from a floating clear plastic with a moulded vagina replica hidden amongst the folds.

Despite the chaotic nature of the space, it is open and welcoming and contains some more traditional gallery and retail elements – with one corner dedicated to the sale of t-shirts made by local labels and pieces of hanging art available for sale.

While it is not exactly as Kaspar and Lucas first imagined, they found that their ideas adpated and evolved naturally and organically when they found a venue. This was a process managed by Renew Adelaide, an organisation that connects creative entrepreneurs with empty shopfronts.

Kaspar and Lucas worked with Renew to consider several spaces before the Trims building came up as a possibility.

“I quickly made a new proposal which was adapted for the Trims space,” said Kaspar. “The new idea was more an art shop that was decorated as well – the artists don’t just come and sell their work, they come to decorate a wall and then hang their work on it and help the space come together. We didn’t want to take a high commission and make lots of money, we just wanted to bring a massive community of artists together.”


Mr Ist is located in the old Trims building at the Cnr King William Street and Carrington Street, and is open daily 10am-8pm until June 18.

Lucas and Kaspar brought on three more curators – Lauren Abineri, David Court and Declan Casley-Smith – to help them fill out the cavernous space. With more than 35 artists represented, there is certainly plenty to see and plenty to buy. The exhibition closes at 8pm, June 18 though so best to hurry before it all disappears just as magically as it appeared.

Kaspar Schmidt Mumm - by Daniel Marks 2014

Kaspar Schmidt Mumm – by Daniel Marks 2014


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