…opening tonight at The Plimsoll Gallery at the art school (5:30pm) is:
THE ARRESTING IMAGE
The question broached by this exhibition is– what holds our attention in this image -saturated world? The Arresting Image is a collection of works, including photography, painting, video, drawing and sculpture, which oscillate between accessibility and challenge.
Exhibition Curators: Pat Brassington and Fiona Lee
Artists: Roger Ballen, Amanda Davies, Fred Fisher, Alicia King, Tim Macmillan, Sanja Pahoki, Sally Rees
I particularly admire the work of Amanda Davies and Sanja Pahoki (am missing her forum as I type actually) and so love the opportunity of being alongside them in a gallery. Also, Jonathan Holmes is writing a catalogue essay and there’s not a lot of writing in existence about my work so I’m excited to read it.
My work in this exhibition, Encore, was shot in Paris in 2004 when I was feeling very isolated and became obsessed (and perhaps somewhat possessed) by an aria from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. The result is a split screen of me twice; once sober and once after 9 martinis, singing along to a recording of it.
It’s an interesting work for me from the artists standpoint. Audiences respond very well to it, the people who don’t tend to be those that are closest to me. It’s made more appearances than any other work I’ve ever made. I like it’s honesty and the straightforward realisation of an idea but sometimes I worry that it’s (as I think I said to the curators) ‘Big Brother for the cultured’.
I worry that it’s voyeuristic, reality-TV style let’s people off the hook a bit and allows them to find it funny when I and those nearest and dearest just see me in a bit of an unhappy, sloppy mess. I mostly worry that there are cultural devices that give people permission to be unkind, and that I may have created another one. But perhaps this is just a reflection of me, struggling to separate myself from my image, which is something I proudly boasted in my MFA exegesis that I had come to terms with… Hmm…
Maybe people are just seduced by the divine music, and my discomfort is that I’m jealous because I know deep down that this is what they are responding to and not anything that I have made at all… the curse of appropriation…
If you go to see the work or are already familiar I’d be really interested to have a discussion about this in the comments on this post over here at WordPress (as opposed to where it gets sucked through the ether to Facebook but whatevs).
I hope to be at the opening but I’ve screwed up my back so I’ll take some pain-killers and we’ll see how I go… Maybe you can tell me what you think to my pain-managed face…
EDIT 2/11/2012 – The archiving begins. You can now see this work here.