PLAY: Portraiture and Performance in Recent Video Art from Australia

14 October 2005 - 5 February 2006

Tony Schwensen, One for You and One for Your Dog 2005

Mladen Bizumic
Steve Carr
David Cross
Shaun Gladwell
Emil Goh
Ronnie van Hout
Angelica Mesiti
Kate Murphy
Rachael Rakena
Tony Schwensen

Featuring work by ten artists from Australia and New Zealand, PLAY explored the relationship between the documentary aspects of video and its formal, fluid qualities to capture the performative elements of everyday life. The works on show were selected for the small disturbances they made to the conventional ways in which we see and experience the world around us.

Each of the artists in this exhibition explore the pervasive presence of video in contemporary culture. It is as an aesthetic style, a personal record and a form of social and commercial communication, that includes home movies, fiction, advertising, documentary and reality television.

The artists also share an interest in the extent to which our personas are influenced by a consciousness of the omnipresent lens, and the persistent practice of ‘looking’ in contemporary society. These artists, however, seek to reinvest this world-weary televisual condition with both personal meaning and small acts of social revelation.

The works in PLAY explored patterns of engagement, linking individual experience and consciousness with the structures of public space and social conventions. Crucially, each artist achieves this through their skilful understanding of the complex materiality of video, and how it acts as a mode of representation that can potentially transform our experience of the world.

Curated by Blair French and Sophie McIntyre.