Kaspar Schmidt Mumm: ROCKAMORA
2023 Porter Street Commission
Adelaide Contemporary Experimental
10 June to 12 August 2023
ROCKAMORA is the first major gallery exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Kaspar Schmidt Mumm, expanding the artist’s fascination with puppetry as a tool for social change. Named after his mother’s primary school bully, ‘Rockamora’ is a thug taking a bath in the gallery. By feeding, cleaning and caring for this bully, ROCKAMORA encourages us to empathise with a larger-than-life, misunderstood antagonist as a way to counter lived experiences of harassment and discrimination.
Influenced by his mother’s own art therapy programs in hospitals, aged care and community centres, Schmidt Mumm’s practice is based in a belief in the rehabilitative qualities of art. The exhibition builds upon Schmidt Mumm’s experimentation with absurdist and comical forms of art-making that feature fantastical representations of other worldly beings.
Now in its fifth iteration, ‘Rockamora’ is a large-scale, interactive puppet that invites audiences to guide and animate tasks such as eating, brushing its teeth, cleaning its ears and other daily habits.
Over the course of the exhibition Schmidt Mumm will collaborate with members of performance art collective The Bait Fridge and six piece music ensemble Slowmango to create space for public events that blur the lines of community gathering, ceremony and protest. Both groups are known for creating boundary pushing live shows and immersive experiences that bring together hyper-colourful costumes, spontaneous performance and entrancing musical explorations.
With a welcoming spirit, ROCKAMORA encourages play and participation, enlivening the gallery space through shared activity.
Feature Image: Kaspar Schmidt Mumm, 'ROCKAMORA' (work in progress), technical design. Courtesy the artist.
Kaspar Schmidt Mumm is the 2023 recipient of the Porter Street Commission – ACE’s annual award supporting new artwork commissions by South Australian artists.
Presented as part of the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.