Welcome Stranger is a multidisciplinary Sydney collective that covets collectability, scarcity and the company of people we might not know yet. It’s also the name of the largest gold nugget found in Australia. We recently caught up with the amorphous aesthetes to discuss their debut exhibition, investing in cultural items and why some things should be left in their natural state.
The items you produce are scarce and tightly curated. Was your intention for these items to be collectible? And what do you yourself collect? It was indeed a conscious decision to make the majority of our items collectible, simply to offer an alternative to the mass production and consumption that exists so strongly in today’s day and age. It is about having consideration for what we consume. It’s about investing in cultural items, the ideas behind them and the people that make them. Some items that we have collected in the past include Colors magazines, concert ticket stubs, TV show DVD box sets, basketball playing cards and nightclub flyers.
Does each drop have a particular theme running through it – are the items connected in any way? There are themes that run through some of our works, and connections that exist from this too. These are often easier to see in retrospect, rather than at the time of creation.
What have you always wanted to make and what would you never make ever? We would love to make a film one day, maybe even a remake of Less Than Zero, considering the original film adaptation was such a disgrace to the book (despite having incredible production design). As for what we would never make? We doubt we’d ever make the abomination that is oysters mornay, we believe oysters should be enjoyed as they are in their natural state, much like most other things in life.
Tell us a bit about the art show that just happened… For WS010 we looked back at the first 9 catalogue items, and the artwork that was created for each piece. But since a lot of the work has only ever had a life trapped inside a webpage, we decide to give them a chance in three dimensions (instead of two) by extending upon their concepts in a more physical sense. As well as our own works, we invited our very good friends at Siberia Records to set up a performance installation to compliment some of the works in the space. Considering one of our future works will be focusing on drummers, we deemed it appropriate for our dear friends to limit themselves to drums for this particular performance.
Images from Welcome Stranger’s WS010 one night only show at Lo-Fi Gallery, Taylor Square.