Sriwhana Spong (b. 1979)
edition of three, super 8 transfered to DVD, 4:5 ratio, 3 mins 38 sec, sound, colour
Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection
Sriwhana Spong is regarded as a significant contemporary New Zealand artist for her time-based practice that is reflexive of film histories and its association with ethnography, as well as the medium’s relationship to duration; for example capturing aesthetic forms that are also ephemeral and temporary.
This work Muttnik
recently acquired for a new initiative of establishing a collection of new media works that recognises that the format is a growing feature of contemporary art practice. It is an important work for Spong as it was the first in a body of work to fuse the language of ritual assemblage, sculpture and time-based media to the popular language of science fiction.
This work became the springboard for several new projects that similarly gave form for her personal interpretation of Balinese ritual. It records the placement of sculptural offerings (totems) she constructed in her family home’s garden and employs a camera work that deliberately distorts an understanding of each object’s context and location. The soundtrack sampling the rock pop tune by The Beatles’ Dear Prudence
similarly creates a sense of cultural displacement. The effect poignantly captures a sense of historical unfamiliarity and disorientation.
Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection Inventory September 2011 [PDF]