Alicia Frankovich

Spaces of Life

03 Feb – 09 Mar 2024

A collection of found and constructed phenomena and objects set the scene for Alicia Frankovich’s debut solo exhibition with 1301SW and her first in Melbourne since the acclaimed Exoplanets at Monash University Museum of Art in 2018.  

Titled Spaces of Life, this exhibition renders tangible the dystopian future big tech is marching us toward. A complex exhibition, where each element points to disruption, where things have gone awry, deviating from the expected course. Decommissioned fridges housing 3D-printed and resin forms of life, both human and non-human, sit absent of the soft hum of power. While salvaged Tesla airbags from scraped cars, here provide no soft cushioning, rather one eerily breathes on the floor like a lung, gently inflating and deflating — clinging to life — while another is cast in resin like a cryogenic carcass. Many of the objects within this exhibition appear as cocoons lacking life, Sci-Fi and otherworldly, they appear as though frozen in time, a futile attempt to prolong and sustain their existence, waiting for Musk and his cronies to reincarnate them on a distant planet. This overarching presence of big tech idealism embodies an attempt to capture and recreate life on another planet amidst our forthcoming economic, environmental and social crisis.

Overshadowing the exhibition a digital screen flicks between an altered temperature and present time, creating an imminent sense of pressure. A countdown, or a grim reminder of the four-degree rise — the average rise in global temperature, which some suggest is possible by the year 2100. While a suite of new photographic works continue with this incorporation of reformed materials, where the way each object is documented makes you question their form and affords them alternative meaning.

Frankovich’s exhibition highlights the reality of our current climate crisis, and engenders questions of escaping Earth to find life on Mars. Drawing connections to space as the final frontier and Tesla’s SpaceX determination on colonising Mars – “[Mars] is a little cold, but we can warm it up”. Spaces of Life seems to present a world which questions both the control of the tech industry and how that might affect human and non-human biological reproduction, and ultimately, what life is.