The Main Gallery is transformed into another world with Parlour Parlëur a new project by the ArtHitects (Gary Carsley and Renjie Teoh). Taking the parlour as a distinct social site that combines both the public and private, the artists have constructed a dynamic space for personal relationships and ritual in a visually stunning site-specific architectural experience.
The ArtHitects draw on histories of artmaking, architecture and practices of personal memory-making to propose new physical and symbolic spaces for dialogue to unfold. In Parlour Parlëur, thousands of overlapping A4 photocopies are pasted on the Gallery walls, creating a scene that is both theatre spectacle and optical illusion, merged with rich imagery drawn from the Gallery’s collection of art, furniture and the gardens.
Historically, the parlour was a space within the home to entertain guests and for conversation. However, over time its purpose gave way to the living room as a site for family rituals and gathering, and as our ways of socialising have changed. The parlour was also a place to receive guests and was the most public of private spaces in a domestic environment.
Within this spirit of hospitality, the ArtHitects have created a visual encounter that celebrates the often-overlooked acts of creativity within our homes and communities, bringing them into new light and to new audiences in an immersive and uplifting experience.
Parlëur, the French verb that means to talk is enacted as a call and response in the gallery between objects, animation, voice, and architecture, translating and interpreting the parlour and its histories in a richly entangled narrative for everyone to experience.
The ArtHitects is a multidisciplinary duo composed of artist Gary Carsley and architect Renjie Teoh. They came together following the success of The Regency Made Me Blind (2018), their site-specific installation of more than 7,000 A4 photocopies commissioned by the National Gallery of Singapore and realised with Jeremy Chu. Based between Sydney and Singapore, Carsley and Teoh synthesise their different backgrounds and generational outlooks to evolve a transcultural visual language that expresses the lived experiences of contemporary Australia’s increasingly blended communities. Narratives of migration, labour, social history and intercommunal dialogue are important areas of inquiry for Carsley and Teoh who have worked closely with small groups including Indigenous students in Western Sydney, queer printmakers at the National Art School and the OWLS (Outer Western Lacemakers Sydney). Through these encounters they refine their focus on suppressed or forgotten histories as subjects for new, inclusive and uplifting visual encounters.
Join the ArtHitects (Gary Carsley & Renjie Teoh) in conversation with Curatorial Programs Manager, Nina Stromqvist. The ArtHitects will reflect on the importance of listening in response to their current exhibition Parlour Parlëur.
On Dharug land
Penrith Regional Gallery
Home of the Lewers Bequest
Main Gallery 86 River Road
Emu Plains NSW 2750
9 September–10 December 2023
In conversation with the ArtHitects
Free, bookings required
23 September 2023