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

DokuArts art film festival

Bart Rutten of the Stedelijk invited me to come up with a short film introduction and live visual mix for this upcoming conference on museum as content creator. Thinking of Zabriskie point slow-motion explosions of the Guggenheim, youtube tourist videos from outside the represented museums, postcards and snapshots, classicism and iconography. Free entry, reserve via

June 11, TrouwAmsterdam, Witbautstraat 127, 1091 GL Amsterdam

12.30 coffee and tea / visual prologue Emile Zile

Emile Zile is an artist and performer engaged with popular screen iconography, hybrid performance and single-channel video.

13.10 lecture Margriet Schavemaker, Head of Collections, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

A critical analysis of the history of the intricate relationships between museums and media productions: from the early films and television productions up to the latest digital presentations of moving images on the internet and locative media.

13.45 lecture Jane Burton, Head of Content and Creative Director, Tate Media

Besides the wide variety of Tate Media productions and its online platform from which these moving images (lectures, interviews and documentation of exhibitions) are broadcast, Jane Burton will discuss the new Tate plans to produce a feature animation film.

14.45 lecture Anne-Michèle Ulrich, Director audio-visual department, Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou is coproducer of the film on Alexander Calder, presented by Doku.Arts. Anne-Michèle Ulrich will present a new iPhone application, and show a preview of the new internet channel, which will premiere in November 2010.
A critical retrospective of the first year of Arttube will be offered, tuning in on the pros and cons, and focusing on the development of this media channel from marketing tool to ‘curatorial depth’.

Interview • John Kilduff • Let’s Paint TV

Let’s Paint TV is a community access cable television show broadcast in Los Angeles. A psychedelic Saturday morning smear of extreme video mixer effects, live painting, treadmill running and taking calls from the public. The host John Kilduff remains focused on being positive throughout abusive calls from anonymous callers, dealing with extreme multi-tasking while painting portraits and interviewing guests. Live studio guests have included a fake Robert DeNiro, carnivorous birds and the Wizard of Oz’s Tinman. Extremely effective grass-roots interactive art on many levels, Let’s Paint TV is an internet phenomenon and a peculiar broadcast endurance event that I wanted to know more about. I asked this indefatigable performer and UCLA MFA candidate graduate some questions over email.

EZ. You focus on multitasking and positivity in
your show, how do you gauge if these very
important life lessons are being imparted to your
call-in audience ? Have you been asked to run
workshops or self-help camps ?

JK. I do get a few personal emails from people who
ask me for advice on how to continue on with life.

EZ. Is positivity coming back in full force in the
USA ? Is Bush’s demise a blossoming flower of
openness or not ? How hard is it to be positive ? Is
California a great place to be positive ?

JK. Yes to all…I think. It can be hard and
frankly, most of the time when I am not
performing…I have to remind myself that Mr Let’s
Paint justs keeps on keeping on! Yes, I think
California is a great place to be positive..both
LA and San Fransisco.

EZ. Do you get hassled at the supermarket ? Are
you well-known in your neighborhood ? Has someone
noticed you in 7-11 and shook your hand ?

JK. No,No,and No…..LA is so big that it just
hasn’t happened yet. Now if I was on the cover of
People Magazine…that would be different.

EZ. Have you made other experiments in the media ?
Ever hosted a radio show or exhibited your
paintings in unconventional spaces ? Were you a
painter before you were involved with electricity ?

JK. During the OJ Simpson trial, I painted the
reporters at the trial and they interviewed me. No
to radio show (my brother did that), But I have
been doing this live internet show on Yes, I have been a
painter for over 20 years.

EZ. What is your favourite music ?

JK. Not sure…I like/hate everything

EZ. What is your favourite colour ?

JK. I don’t think I have one.

Let’s Paint TV