These materials were actually pivotal for my creative works. They transitioned me from photography into making videos. It started from a short film about abandoned chairs, then ambient videos on a red sofa. When I got into COFA, broken TVs were used for a looped video assignment. And it concluded with video installation about torn mattresses.
No one would care how they got there or how they would end but they were so intriguing to me that I needed to exercise my imagination to tell their stories. Having explored them again reminded me how beauty could be discovered from discarded lives on the streets.
On another aspect, I was thinking of doing urban landscape comparison between my old photography and the latest visit. But there was no concrete plan for it and I enjoyed drifting in the streets and back lanes. However, I got a chance to do only one properly.
We spend almost half of our lifetime on bed and we are not really conscious of it. I have been photographing abandoned mattresses on the streets for quite sometime. The stains, burn, gash and mold that are left on those mattresses exhibit the subliminal imprints of our dreams and memories.
This work was produced as a project for Sound Construction class and video installation assessment in Video Art class for Master of Digital Media at College of Fine Arts, Sydney.
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The place we stayed in Newcastle is just across the road from this demolished site. From what I explored, it use to be a complex of: a boxing gym, a pub, a bottle shop and a food shop. It apparently was a background of Marcus Westbury’s interview with State Line and a place for some blokes and pigeons to live in.
To satisfy my obsession and to deal with the flood of photo shots of junk on the streets of Sydney, I make another work to send in Video Art at CoFA for the loop project. It is about a year when I first one of the series in the workshop with Metro Screen, Anywhere Chairs and then Waif.
This time my subject is dead TVs and I push myself up a notch by doing it frame by frame like animation. It is finished a week in advance before the class viewing because the evening clashes with Marrickville Art Prize opening night. But it has not been shown the to class yet. So yes, you see it before it is official. Unfornately, the compression cannot cope wih a video that changes almost every frame like this one. However, you can see the better encoding version in Quicktime Movie. Be warned that the file is fairly large (11Mb) for a 30-second movie.
One of the hi-lights of Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island is Mike Parr video installations in one of the abandoned office building. It is a collection of 30 years of his artist career. He uses his body to explore pain and violence as a part of the human being. It is not pretty. It is a spook house that really hits you with reality. Once you enter inside, the stairs and hallway lead you to each room of presentation with brutal imageries and inescapable sound. And there is no way you can skip one. It is about our own nature of curiosity. You can still feel the irritation lingering in your soul when getting out.
Anyway, the building itself is like a time capsule. Traces of activities are left as it was. One who feels Mike Parr’s works are too much to handle can distract themselves and just enjoy the history.