See what's on at the

Browse What's On

– Highlights

highlight
Exhibition

Energies: Haines & Hinterding

25 Jun - 06 Sep

highlight
Exhibition

Aleks Danko

30 Jul - 18 Oct

highlight
Exhibition

Matthys Gerber

22 Sep - 06 Dec

Create and Learn at the

All Learning Programs

– Learning Events

highlight
Conference

Dance, Theatre and Visual Art

20 Aug, 9.00am

highlight

Aleks Danko & Tom Polo: Masterclass for teachers

29 Aug, 10.00am, Creative Studios National Centre for Creative Learning

highlight
Talk

Exchange Series

31 Aug, 11.00am, Creative Studios National Centre for Creative Learning

Find out more about the

About the MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Digital Excursions; New Connections

Alex White reflects upon the newly launched program offerings and the possibilities these hold for students and teachers anywhere in Australia. more

Mug Shots

In preparation for the The Rocks Aroma Festival on July 26, MCA staff share some of the stories behind the mugs they use for their workplace beverages. more

MCA’s first Oculus Rift artwork experience

Don’t have enough (real) space to install artworks in? Why not make some virtual space! more

View the Collection

Browse Collection

– Spotlights from the collection online

highlight
Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection on display

highlight
Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections

On tour until October 2015

highlight
ARTIST INTERVIEW

Watch our latest artist interview with Khaled Sabsabi

Jess MacNeil

Opera House Steps, March 2006

Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Michael Hawker, 2009

single-channel digital, video, colour, sound, 2min 56s

2 min 56s

About the Artwork

Jess MacNeil’s practice shifts between superbly orchestrated digital video to sensuously painted fragments from filmed footage, exploring fluidity and slippage between image, media and form. MacNeil effortlessly translates her intense focus across moving and still imagery, refining and reworking the essential qualities that concern her – light, shadow, water, colour and movement against both natural and built environments, and our interaction within them.

Preoccupied with the lingering traces of human passage through time and particular places, Jess MacNeil’s works invite consideration of the complex pre-conditions and subtle repercussions of our encounters. Her paintings and video works explore the visible and invisible influences that govern the way we perceive and inhabit the world, presenting an emphatically subjective visual translation of the amorphous ’shape’ of our relationship to our surroundings and to one another.

The evocative effects in Jess MacNeil’s video works are the result of subtle, digital manipulation. In her video projection based on the Sydney Opera House steps at particular times (March and December 2006), the artist uses live footage (captured on video) of visitors moving up and down the steps of the Opera House which she then deconstructs by digitally erasing their bodies from the sequence, leaving just their shadows.

The regularly spaced steps of the forecourt, with elongated, distorted silhouettes rising and descending across what now appears as a field of parallel lines, create a dynamic optical rhythm – like notes upon a stave. MacNeil’s allusion to a musical scale, together with the play of shadows cast by moving bodies, resonates with the purpose of the building – a venue for dance, theatre and musical performances.

References

Judith Blackall, ‘Soluble time’, catalogue essay, Jess MacNeil, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, May 2011

My practice is situated at the points of intersection between painting, installation, video and photography, taking as subject matter the dynamics of public space and its translation into pictorial space.

Jess MacNeil, 2008

Jess MacNeil

– About the artist

b.1977

Investigating our relationship with the world around us, Jess MacNeil’s practice spans painting, drawing, video and installation. Through simple elements of lines, traces and shadows, point of view, repetition, and playback speed, her works explore our perceptions and experiences of the everyday environment.

Learn more

– View also

All
Works

Related Exhibitions

In the Shop