Image Processors
Artists in the Medium – A Short History 1968–2020

Featuring works by Aldo Tambellini, Richard Serra, Dara Birnbaum, Martha Rosler with Paper Tiger TV, Harun Farocki, Lisa Reihana, Megan Dunn, Ryan Trecartin, Wynne Greenwood and K8 Hardy, Josephine Meckseper, Mike Heynes, Arthur Jafa, and Matthew Griffin, curated by Christina Barton.

Opening date to be announced – 7 November 2021

Matthew Griffin, Keytar, 2020, digital still from Unchained Malady, 2020, 133 videos on a big-screen television, private collection, courtesy of the artist and Fine Arts, Sydney.

Image Processors surveys a history of artists’ moving-image works that take the mass media as their target. Several of the works selected for the exhibition hold key places in the history of video art, yet they have never been brought together in Aotearoa New Zealand previously.

Working back in time from Australian artist Matthew Griffin’s compilation of 133 short videos, Unchained Malady, 2020 – which irreverently repurposes imagery from internet news sites and social media feeds – the exhibition presents a range of works that likewise appropriate found footage, restage familiar formats or scrutinise the mechanisms of the information and entertainment industries. These include American artist Arthur Jafa’s hugely influential Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016), Lisa Reihana’s breakout Wog Features (1990), Dara Birnbaum’s Technology/ Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978–79), and Italian-American ‘electromedia’ pioneer Aldo Tambellini’s Black TV (1968-69), amongst others.

Shaped by artist and theorist Judith Barry’s insight that ‘It is only by producing images that the subject of mass culture begins to feel some measure of control over the alienation produced by this condition” (1986), Image Processors provides a compelling bridge that links the critical aspirations of an artistic avant-garde to the manipulations and blandishments of quotidian entertainment.