Carriageworks will continue its work of supporting local artists and the arts industry with its upcoming exhibition No Show, an evolving display of art installations, residencies, performances and screenings from 11 New South Wales-based artist-run initiatives (ARIs).

“[Those organisations] are where all the ideas start sometimes, and where there’s an accepted area for risk and experimentation,” Carriageworks curator Aarna Hanley tells Broadsheet. “These spaces are traditionally where that happens in our world and where young voices come [from], but also where established practitioners continue to test.”

Eleven ARIs from across New South Wales were invited to take part and pitch their ideas, with more than 50 early-career artists and writers showing their works across the precinct’s public space and Bay 19. The ARIs run the gamut from cooperatives and publications to digital platforms and studios, from the well established to the recently launched; some are based around Sydney while others are regional.

Each organisation is exhibiting independently. Each ARI has been given total freedom in how they approach what they show, and Carriageworks hasn’t grouped the works together to make it feel like a traditional gallery exhibition. Sydney architecture firm Youssofzay + Hart has designed a light, recyclable structure made of steel and thick acoustic felt, splitting the exhibition space in such a way that the ARIs can be viewed independently, or everything can be viewed together.

“They’ve created these transparent rooms ... so that everything can be seen at once, but there are also discrete spaces in which you can have concentrated viewing that’s uninterrupted,” Hanley says.

Highlights from the exhibition include 5 from 5 by Pari, a Parramatta artist space that opened in 2019 and is mounting a retrospective with pieces from each of its first five exhibitions; experimental video-art platform Prototype’s film series Radical Ecologies, which features 45 minutes of back-to-back works from the organisation’s archive, accompanied by a new long-form essay; and a performance and exhibition series from gallery Our Neon Foe, with performances on the first and last week of No Show.

Other participating ARIs include Ankles; Aboriginal artists’ cooperative Boomalli; Firstdraft (the country’s longest-running artist-led organisation); Camperdown artist-run space Knulp; online publication Running Dog; digital platform Runway Journal; social enterprise Studio A; and regional-based initiative Wayout Artspace.

“It’s all about giving them the support to do things with our exhibition teams, and to enable them to present something that maybe they didn’t have the technology to present on their own,” Hanley says. “The premise of No Show for us is we’re handing over the space, and the ARIs are on show. The main thing is it’s their authorship and their curatorial lead; we’re just showing them.”

No Show runs at Carriageworks from February 12 to March 7, 2021. Entry is free.

carriageworks.com.au