​Taal’s multi-disciplinary work delivers an immediacy through tenuous aesthetic language.

Image: Inneke Taal, The artist has no materials (16 acts of making), 2021, single-channelvideo, 10:43mins

Inneke Taal (SA)

Inneke Taal’s works are activated by the context in which they exist, and thereby point outward towards the systems they inhabit. Her artworks interweave moving image, sound and the poetic line to consider subtle embodied experiences and spatial relationships. In a recent solo show at Sauerbier House, footage of a projected moving line within the gallery was projected again into the same space. The renewal of the ‘heritage’ site reflected upon impermanence. Simultaneously, the artist statement, which could only be heard in the gallery’s outhouse/washroom, further skewed the expected gallery experience.

Using reflexive approaches to gallery site and collateral, Taal heightens embodied awareness, and rearranges the linearity of time and our experiences of space. Flipping the gallery on itself, being double (2020) was a moving image work featuring a projector as protagonist, filmed from both inside and outside the gallery at night and later projected into a dark corner of Floating Goose Studios. More recently, Artist Statement –  a roaming exhibition project for the SALA Festival – featured the artist herself in a white boiler suit (‘workwear’) printed with the artist statement to be read in motion. The text reflected on ‘the administrative, technical, and performative nature of the exhibition format more broadly’.

For FELTspace in 2020, Taal collaborated with Nicole Clift as collective Tandem Projects. The pair presented …tilted gazing, a moving image outside the gallery comprising slow pans of the gallery’s interior filmed at dawn. Inspired by the discovery that objects in outer space can collide at ‘a brisk human’s walking pace’, the work’s ‘discovery’ and slow orbit of the gallery simultaneously de- and re-familiarised its tactility while considering the experience of the art space without its audience. In placing architecture in a self-conscious relationship to itself, the work provides a direct experience of the invisible underpinnings of that public sphere.

...everything moves in straight lines over the curved landscape of spacetime (2021) by Tandem Projects at Post Office Projects shared similar concerns. A double-sided projection of marbles colliding was hung mid-air above the stairwell in the passage between the gallery and artist studios. In its placement and perspective, it disorientated viewers while its title alluded to Brian Cox’s ponderings of gravity. Grounded in shared interests in site, movement, time, space and language, the collective creates an avenue for Taal and Clift to explore new lines of science-based enquiries. Across their collaborative works, restraint and expansive concepts culminate in gentle yet stirring installations. 

In its ephemeral and site-specific nature, Taal’s multi-disciplinary work delivers an immediacy through tenuous aesthetic language. Across the installation Language of unfixed structures (2018), for example, paper offcuts were draped loosely from wall fixings, warped aluminum rested airily against the walls and an unravelling coiled wire suspended a steel rod. While the fine details beckoned close inspection, the presence of bodies threatened the integrity of the work. Taal’s artistic grammar leans into poetic intention rather than logic and meaning. For her, language ‘inhabits the body, not so much as words but malleable shapes or sensory objects’ and is inextricably linked to the haptic body in time and space.

An essay by Emma O’Neil following conversations with the Class of 2023 Samstag Scholarship recipients. Emma O’Neill is a writer, curator and arts manager based on Gadigal land.


Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia, acknowledges the Kaurna people as traditional custodians of the land upon which the Museum stands.