single-channel digital video, colour, sound
Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Julian and Stephanie Grose, 2012
Material from Another Medium (Sequence 2) is a video work that features a range of commonplace materials – plastic shopping bags, bubble wrap and different kinds of paper – scrunched up and placed in a small white space. The objects are documented unfolding at their own pace, generating shapes that appear surreal and miraculous when viewed through the medium of video. While the brown paper unfolds slowly and deliberately, the ball of innocuous white paper makes sharp movements and crackling sounds that bring to mind an iceberg disintegrating under its own weight. The plastic bags expand outwards like explosions captured in slow motion on high-speed film. Most dynamic of all, the bubble wrap moves in a graceful manner to make strange translucent shapes. The paper and plastic transform in the sparse, white arena to become both monumental and voluminous. Von Sturmer subverts expected behaviours and understanding of scale to play perceptual games with the viewer. Material from Another Medium (Sequence 2) encourages viewers to pause in astonishment and delight at the beauty and dynamism of materials that lie unnoticed all around us.
Video, which has a unique capacity to manipulate time and space, plays a key role in von Sturmer’s work and is used to test out a variety of propositions relating to perception and understanding. His videos typically feature everyday objects in bright, white environments. The laboratory-like spaces sit somewhere between the physical architecture of the real world and the virtual world of moving image, but display their own logic, distorting the viewer’s notion of scale, movement and proximity. For von Sturmer, ‘video is another kind of space within a space’. In these constructed environments he plays with the folding and unfolding of perceptual space-time.
Born 1972, Auckland, New Zealand. Lives and works Melbourne.
Daniel von Sturmer’s videos utilise a range of media to investigate perception and the relationship between real and pictorial space. His works are concerned with the different ways we view objects in reality and through recorded media. Von Sturmer represented Australia at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. His selected solo exhibitions include Focus & Field and Camera Ready Actions, Young Projects Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); After Images, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2013); Small World, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2012); The Cinema Complex, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (2010); Set Piece, Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK (2009); Tableaux Plastique, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2008); and The Object of Things, Australian Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennale (2007).
Selected group exhibitions include The Brain, Te Uru Gallery, Auckland (2015); Optical Mix, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2014); Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); Don’t Hold Your Breath, AVIA Angelholm Video Art Festival, Sweden (2012); Old Genes, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2011); Gestures & Procedures, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2010); Rising Tide: Film and Video Works, MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2009); Repetitions, Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, University of Tasmania, Hobart (2008); and The Secret Life of Paint, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (2007).
Von Sturmer’s work is held in numerous public and private collections, nationally and internationally, including the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand; and Australian state gallery collections.Learn more