Sonia Leber and David Chesworth <em>Mission Crimps</em> 2021 (still); 4K UHD video. Courtesy of the artists<br/>
© Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Sonia Leber
(b. 1959, Naarm/Melbourne. Lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne)
David Chesworth
(b. 1958, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom. Lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne)

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth are known for their distinctive video, sound and architecture-based installations that are as audible as they are visible. Leber and Chesworth’s works are speculative and archaeological, often involving entire communities and elaborated from research in places undergoing social, technological or local geological transformation. Their works emerge from the real but exist in the realm of the imaginary, hinting at unseen forces and non-human perspectives.

Mission Crimps, 2021, emphasises a restless visual searching and plurality of sonic perspectives. An old telephone exchange, with its cable trays and colourful wires, metallic switches and exchange circuits, finds itself echoing the calibrations and configurations of the human mind. The play of electro-magnetic and acoustic sounds evokes the latent and subconscious restoration process occurring at night – that moment of intense brain activity enabling the assimilation of what happened during the day and the regeneration of our bodies and minds. Leber and Chesworth’s project also echoes the natural environment, as ineffable as the brain, with its systems of watery flows, dendritic spreads of tree branches, mountainous networks and dynamic exchange points. With Mission Crimps, the artists propose that both the brain and the natural environment are wired and dynamically re-wired in certain ways. This occurs through what the artists call ‘antinomic’ framings of the phenomena that they present; that is, framings that combine contradictory but independently valid and linked elements simultaneously.

Leber and Chesworth’s artworks have been shown in the central exhibitions of the 56th Venice Biennale: All The World’s Futures (2015) and the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire (2014). Solo exhibitions include Where Lakes Once Had Water, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Victoria (2022) and Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (2022); What Listening Knows, Messums Wiltshire, United Kingdom (2021); and Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2018) and touring to UNSW Galleries, Sydney (2019) and Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane (2019).

Mission Crimps appeared in Community Hall on 17–23 Jul 2023.

Film credits
Mission Crimps, 2021
4K UHD Video, 7 minutes
Filming, editing and sound design: Sonia Leber & David Chesworth
Colour grading: Peter Hatzipavlis

The artists acknowledge the support of commissioning curator Anabelle Lacroix and the team at Fondation Fiminco in Paris; the National Communications Museum in Melbourne; and the School of Art at RMIT University in Melbourne