…opening tonight at The Plimsoll Gallery at the art school (5:30pm) is:

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.


8 thoughts on “…and…

  1. oops, replied to the wrong thread in my above comment. Every time i think I’ve got the hang of the internet I prove myself wrong.

    anyhoo, now that I’m on this thread, I might as well let you know how amazing your Plimsoll artwork is. I swear people must have thought me slightly weird at the opening – i just couldn’t stop staring! I went down a couple of days ago, and it had the same effect on me. It’s hypnotising. Thanks

    1. Gee, thanks Lucy. Maybe it’s actually living up to the exhibitions promise then…! What do you think about the ‘Big Brother’ factor? Am I imagining it?

      And regarding your little coughing fit above: Well the Brinckman/Robinson text is the one I mooted for Stock the other day but I think you said someone had already put their hand up to write about that show.

      And Scotterell? – well Scot paid me to write that piece… and although it IS precisely what I think, maybe the cash-for-words exchange compromises it’s status as a piece of critical writing(?)… And maybe double-dipping just isn’t cricket either… although I could really use $50 around about now….

      1. Sorry, I’m totally horrible at the moment. As soon as someone says something about a current exhibition I jump on them and say ‘do you want to write an article for….’ I’m surprised people don’t run when they see me.

        I think your work was the only one that really had the desired effect on me. Fred’s did to some extent, but the others…. not so much. They were putting themselves on the line a bit really – I mean, who can really predict what individuals are attracted to?

        I’ll have to mull on the Big Brother comment for a bit….

  2. That’s not horrible. And believe me – sad as it is, I really need $50. The moment you see anything here you would like to exchange for STOCK dollars you just let me know Missy and I’ll happily comply…

  3. will do. It’s slim pickings for you this month, I guess, with both CAST and Plimsoll out of the running. But hey, if you want to do Inflight next month, there’s nothing stopping you (plug)

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