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The Super 80s

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


14 Nov 1998 to 03 Dec 1998

Filmmakers and Artists:

Simon Cooper, Marie Craven, Stephen Cummins, Anthony Foot, Andrew Frost, Emmanuel G., Stephen Harrop, Robert Herbert, Virginia Hilyard, Michael Hutak, Catherine Lowing, Sean O’Brien, Nick Ostrovskis, Mark Titmarsh, Chris Foxhead Windmill, Rowan Woods & Nick Meyers

Guest Curator:

Sean O’Brien

about the exhibition

The Super 80s – comprising a gallery exhibition at the MCA and screenings at the Museum of Sydney – was a short and sharp reminder of a cultural moment which focused immense local energy and experimentation, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

To a new generation of artists in the early 1980s Super 8 film-making represented an affordable and direct medium for artistic assault. Though historically a successor to Australia’s experimental film scenes of the 1960s and 1970s, the Super 8 movement was largely a phenomenon unto itself.

In the 1990s the restless, irreverent and poetic spirit of the Super 8 movement subtly infused our culture. In 1998, for example, Rowan Woods directed and Nick Meyers edited the searing AFI-awarded feature debut The Boys – their talents honed via Super 8, a string of strong, short works on film and video (Tran the Man, Seven), and regular outings on ABC-TV (eg Police Rescue).

Curated by filmmaker Sean O’Brien, The Super 80s exhibition at the MCA incorporated a video compilation of rarely screened key films from the period, together with artefacts, posters and publications, and an installation of newly commissioned film loop projections.

Sponsored by Videolab.