This exhibition consists of the work of six Melbourne artists who use video to evoke cinematic memories. Here, the language of cinema is understood as a part of our consciousness. Cinema permeates our daily lives, forming part of our shared language, which can impact our personal memories of events and, in particular, our interpretation of space and place. While cinema and contemporary art have many aesthetic, conceptual and technological crossovers, the specific motivation of this exhibition is to gather together artists who evoke cinema in order to reflect on its quotidian omnipotence, and its role in our everyday perception, memories, and reveries.
Taking a contextual cue from the physical context of the exhibition, adjacent to the DOCVA archive, the curatorial premise for the exhibition presents the idea of a theoretical cinematic archive: weightless in form, yet infiltrating our consciousness. A cinematic archive that, as is evident in the artworks presented, takes form through the process of recalling a conceptual archive of shared experience produced by cinema.
The works by Timothy Casten and Jacqui Shelton, Antoinette J. Citizen, Simone Hine, Claire Robertson, and Polly Stanton, utilise the common language of cinematic conventions, with each artist drawing on an archive of images that exist, not in films themselves, but in the shared consciousness of audiences. The archive, in this sense, exists as a collection of common memories. The artworks presented here, utilise these common languages in order to reimagine cinema, and in the process they uniquely transform the spatiality and temporality of these usually linear narratives.
Jacqui Shelton and Tim Casten’s video work Screens presents cinematic imagery that evokes narratives without resolution. Spanning three channels, the work consists of three narrative fragments played simultaneously, with each television showing a single location. Screens expands familiar cinematic narratives, both spatially and temporally, in order to present a new way to generate narratives that are physically located in their material space, while also evoking the ephemeral connections produced by memory.
Antoinette J Citizen’s Artist in Residence and Artist in Studio each take a quotidian scene, a house, and an artist’s studio, and through a simple effect transform this into a space of Hollywood science-fiction. The works function almost as a daydream, a vignette inspired by a lifetime of the escapism of cinema-viewing.
The two works by Simone Hine, presented in Moving Picture/Expanding Space, were shot within the two galleries of this exchange, Screen Space (Melbourne) and Careof (Milano). Both works present scenes that are still: 11:35am presents an empty laneway and The Wait presents what appears to be a performer standing in the gallery. This stillness is interrupted by a cinematic gesture that activates each space to transform the otherwise plainly filmed scene into a site of cinematic narrative.
Claire Robertson’s work Long Beach to Zabriskie Point, a part of her Emotional Landscapes Series, presents a succession of quiet, still, evocative scenes. The work moves from a seaside hotel to Zabriskie Point, the location of Michelangelo Antonioni’s film of the same name. The static camera lingers on the details of each space, evoking their uncanny familiarity: reminiscent of cinematic locations, yet devoid of character and action.
House by Polly Stanton explores a site of ruin, and investigates the way that the language of camera movement and sound can generate tension from an otherwise empty scene.
The exhibition was installed amongst, and utilising, the stacked components of an installation that was part of Careof's ongoing Performing Archive series.
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