David Keating is an Australian contemporary artist, whose multidisciplinary practice engages installation, video, performance, and public sculpture, with a focus on expanded and experimental forms of drawing. Based in Germany, 2004 – 2020 he predominantly produced installations that examined the relationship between architecture, institutions, design and the body. These works combined a rich sense of materiality with a critical perspective on the agency of the artwork and artistic gesture. Based in Melbourne since 2020 Keating’s practice has focused on several extensive series of line drawings, characterised by subversive humour and an idiosyncratic personal iconography and videos, which the artist calls ‘cinematic drawings’, recordings of the drawing process reimagined into cinematic tableaux reminiscent of the video essay format. These works explore dissonant contemporary cultural vocabularies and the limits of drawing as a language by reimagining the temporal and conceptual possibilities of drawing practice.
Recently, Keating completed the PhD research project, ‘Against Fixation – The Ambivalence of the Drawn Line in Contemporary Art Practice,’ which proposes that although drawn lines are a fundamental technology in the visualisation of knowledge, an underlying ambivalence lies at their core. The project explores their use in contemporary art, focusing on their natural capacity to disorganise and resist rigid forms of fixation, effectively centralising ambivalence as a potent strategy in material practice.
Solo exhibitions include ‘Endless Nameless’, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel, ‘Passage’ RaebervonStenglin, Zurich, ‘Habitual Despair’ at Conners Conners, Melbourne and ‘The Containers’ Chauffeur, Sydney. He has participated in significant international group exhibitions such as The Brussels Biennial 1, Belgium and at the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania, the Bass Museum of Art, Miami and Art Altstetten Albisrieden, Zurich.
He has been awarded the Australia Council Studio Residency, Los Angeles, Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder Studio, Trondheim, Norway, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Scholarship and funding from Arts Victoria, the City of Melbourne and the Danish Arts Council. He holds a BFA from The Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne and is currently undertaking a PhD at La Trobe University.