Catalogue text for Marc de Jong

Marc de Jong FLOCK WORK
Gould Galleries, 270 Toorak Rd. South Yarra
Opens Thursday 08 September 2011 – Saturday 08 October 2011


In Marc de Jong’s FLOCK WORK we are presented with explosive moments of energy controlled and contained. Removed from their origin as stock photography they appear to be slowed to the point of growing organically. His images of curling ocean waves, fireworks, volcanos, black holes all deal with brutal, spectacular energy. Electricity, water, gravity, fire – elemental forces man has tried to contain. These are portraits of entropy – a moment of peak energy about to dissipate – the greatest force frozen and permitted to grow a mould-like flock veneer. In this manner they are meditations on the speed of global image culture, overgrown phosphorescent works that contain our shared visual culture.


Stock footage and universal logotypes have long been a fascination for de Jong. From the early sign-jacking of the re-advertising project to his re-appropriation of Mad Max in oils, to the alternate reading of nationalist pride in his combination of Australian Aboriginal colours and the Eureka stockade flag. Marc has continued a tradition of very precise and controlled re-use of contemporary imagery. In FLOCK WORK we are witness to a sifting of imagery from stock photography libraries that privilege moments of dynamic intensity only to seal them in their explosive state and alchemically make them permanent on canvas. Somewhere between printing, painting and electrostatic experimentation lies de Jong’s flock process. Generating sparks in their big bang moment in the studio, these canvases represent and also contain the energy used to make them.


de Jong’s Buddhas stare out from the walls, peacefully surveying the folly of man’s attempts at longevity and permanence. These heads stand apart in this body of work as the only manifestation of a human form. A humble, resigned, knowing, curling smile that sees the world from it’s jungle home at Angkor Watt, Cambodia. These faces are the key to understanding Marc de Jong’s metaphysical concerns – they are the serene reflections of man surveying and attempting to understand the world. Fame dissolves, humanity is extinguished, but life continues in the pores of the earth. Surfaces of the world will again creep with lichen and moss, much like de Jong’s flock seems to grow and emit a faceless living energy.

Emile Zile 2011