Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
19 Aug 2008 to 02 Nov 2008
Video Logic presented the work of six Australian video artists: Denis Beaubois, Philip Brophy, John Conomos, Adam Geczy, John Gillies and Eugenia Raskopoulos. Each artist has worked with the medium for a decade or more, as part of a wider practice that also includes installation, performance, sound or writing.
Video art attained enormous prominence with the turn of the new millennium. This has been attributed to a number of factors, including the growing sophistication and economic accessibility of video technology and the constant presence of the moving image in everyday life. Artists who work with video may reference photography, painting, cinema, performance, documentary, advertising and animation; and they may present their work on a television monitor, as a room-scale projection or as part of an installation.
The artists featured in the exhibition all applied diverse approaches to video, but each considered carefully its specific qualities, as well as pushing its potential into fascinating and challenging directions. The exhibition aimed to convey the broad possibilities for video explored by artists in Australia, not only in its form, content and interaction with other disciplines, but also in terms of its presentation and installation.
The works presented by John Gillies and Denis Beaubois formed connections between video and performance. Gillies exhibited a new work which drew upon the film genre of the road movie and the cinematic techniques of montage and narrative to create an evocative video performance. Beaubois’ works in the exhibition considered the video camera itself as an ‘actor’, which produced its own electronically-generated point of view.
Language and cultural history were important elements in the exhibited works of John Conomos and Eugenia Raskopoulos. Conomos’ work Autumn Song – Take Two took the form of a video essay, using a collage of images and words to investigate his personal history, within a neon-lit installation created for the exhibition. Raskopoulos’ videos employed performance and animation to consider communication and the shifting nature of meaning in different contexts.
The relationship between image and sound was explored in works by Philip Brophy and Adam Geczy. Brophy ‘evaporates’ the music from pop videos and replaces them with soundtracks of his own design, transforming them into disturbing narratives. Geczy is interested in the potential of ‘visual music’ and presented works created in collaboration with the Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe and the German electronic musician Thomas Gerwin.