Marc de Jong FLOCK WORK
Gould Galleries, 270 Toorak Rd. South Yarra
Opens Thursday 08 September 2011 – Saturday 08 October 2011
EXPANDED FERVOUR (SUBTERRANEAN UNDERGROWTH)
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.
COPY PASTED (SIGNED AND SEALED)
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.
SERENE SMILE (YOU VAIN CREATURES)
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
Philip Brophy, in his catalogue essay for Five Production Company Logos in 3D, sees Emile Zile’s groin-level gesturing aptly as a ‘spoof’ on masturbatory corporate excess. It strikes me also as a kind of post-mass-media shadow-puppetry, almost as though Zile might be telling us a story around the campfire, his flickering hands casting the shape of mythical battles or god-heroes onto thin air.
Orginally screened at Lost and Found, Amsterdam’s long-running night of cultural oddities, video and storytelling hosted at the Theatrum Anatomicum.
Hard copy available at Overtoom 301 — PDF offbeatcinema
My new video Five Production Company Logos in 3D is showing in Melbourne at Dianne Tanzer gallery + projects in April 2011. Philip Brophy wrote a catalogue essay available at the show or online at PhilipBrophy_EgoLogos.html
Emile Zile’s Five Production Company Logos In 3D presents an imaginary ‘real man’ behind these grandiose charades born of selfimportant declaration. Just as design company CEOs probably come in their pants when they look at their Maya-rendered fonts casting shadows on planets, so are Emile’s hands ‘working magic’ as he performs aerial jack-offs synchronised to Adam Milburn’s gilded melodic refrains. His hysterical hand movements hilariously replicate the excessive overload of those corporate logos which move around like Jane Fonda doing Zumba on crack. Best of all, it simply looks like Emile is masturbating as if he uses some amazing technique to whack a super load into our faces. Which is exactly what the proud designers of those gleaming chromed star-cruiser logo-ships imagine they’re doing. And a grand tradition it is, for what is Coke’s ‘dynamic ribbon’ but the allusion to a frothy foaming cum shot.
April 2 – 23, 2011
Diane Tanzer gallery + projects
108-110 Gertrude St. Fitzroy
tired of the mirrors, noise and eyes.
tired of prickly, intimate and fleshy human relationships being flattened into ‘friend’-nodes, the erasure of myth by constant visibility and exhausting availability.
what kind of network society do i want to support? a closed compound of willingly data-mined crayons or an open net of chance and unpredictability?
if facebook is the brightly-lit suburban mall of internet communication, i want to be under the bridges; in the torrent-swapping irc channels, small social networks, anonymous message boards and darker locations thriving with their own individual languages and codes.
tired of feeling exposed, of being infantilised, of being farmed.
the incessant ‘now’ of FB started to infect my creative process; making for ‘blip’ attention spans and the enormous appetite of the beast, as Geert Lovink puts it ‘feeding a machine’. I want to think in longer time frames to make deeper work.
tired of feelings of interpassivity and the formless mild angst it instills in me; spectacle 2.0 and the build-your-own-ego-ghetto.
hello friends, goodbye facebook.
Revulsion in every direction. A burning black hole of explosive anger – given a physical shape by a body trapped in circumstance. A body that is barely able to contain it’s energy.
2dollar shop Australiana decaying on the bonnet of a burning police car. The Museum is a carrier of the violence of incarceration; ethnic typecasting; the leisure classes.
“Too ethnic for SBS” – Too angry for reality television, too real for silence, too alive to die. A bastard son mongrel dog of a prick, primed to kick back at the forces which try to contain it.
A post-colonial audiovisual essayist, using as his tools cheap midi controllers, usb devices and undiluted aggression exorcised from the depths of an amnesiac Australian culture.
Three days in a cinema to pick the brain of Mike Figgis, director, artist and musician. Sugar and cocaine. Digital and celluloid. Grain and focus. Portrait and landscape. Hollywood and independence. Script-writing and score notation. Bullshit and real bullshit. Theatre and self-obsession. Pornography and J.L. Godard.
Brilliant, real and inspiring.
Thanks to Janine Dijkmeijer at Cinedans.nl
Dafna Maimon’s take on arts industry workers, recent art school graduates, art guards and the dreams and fears of the people at the frontline of cultural institutions. The protagonists use black parcan theatre lights on mic stands to frame their monologues. A white light too strong. Lights. Camera. Action.The repetitious scenes were almost nausea inducing in their hammy under/overacted delivery. Exquisitely bland dialogue, sometimes directed to audience members or the unwitting gallery visitor who becomes part of the narrative. Tiny, intoxicating scenes that would be repeated over the course of an hour.
Inane moving of lights. Incessant moving of the framing devices. The power a directed light has to focus energy and create an immediate stage is profound. The spotlight gives license to the characters to deliver lines in much the same way that social networking platforms or micro-blogging services gives licence to transmit little traumas, everyday desires and narcissistic impulses. These individuals prepare their monologues for the amorphous mass, one liners that are both media-conscious and personal. They recite language to the ether, not a directed conversational language, but a never-ending stream of quotes, self-critical comments and weak commands. The dialogue of mediated individualism. I felt we were trapped in the lucid daydreaming IM chats of bored gallery sitters and wannabe curators.
Melodramatic pauses and romantic dialogue interspersed with asides to the audience “If this was a film I would be shot over the shoulder in medium close-up”. Characters moving in highly artificial arcs. The pacing is drawn out and gives ample room for slippage, coincidences and accidents. A character sighs and delivers a highly breathy and despairing “Help. The website is stuck again”. This is anti-depressant operatic tragedy set to the scale of 21st century comment culture.
09/01/10. W139, Warmoesstraat 139, Amsterdam
Directed by Dafna Maimon
Performers: Anu Vahtra, Lot Meijers, Steven de Jong, Timothy Moore
Ken Hollings has an essay on MJ in the new Zero books publication ‘The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson’, edited by Mark Fisher of Kpunk blog.
Providing an antidote to the mixture of unthinking sentimentality and scurrilous prurience that Jackson usually attracts, this book offers impassioned and informed answers to the urgent questions that Jackson’s death has posed. What was it about Jackson’s music and dancing that appealed to so many people? What does his death mean for popular culture in the era of Web 2.0? And just how resistible was his demise? Was another world ever possible, something perhaps utopian instead of the consensual sentimentality of a world hooked on debt, consumerism and images? The essays in The Resistible Demise Of Michael Jackson consummately demonstrate that writing on popular culture can be both thoughtful and heartfelt. The contributors, who include accomplished music critics as well as renowned theorists, are some of the most astute and eloquent writers on pop today. The collection is made up of new essays written in the wake of Jackson’s death, but also includes Barney Hoskyns’ classicNME piece written at the time of Thriller.
Contributors: Marcello Carlin, Robin Carmody, Joshua Clover, Sam Davies, Geeta Dayal, Tom Ewing, Dominic Fox, Jeremy Gilbert, Owen Hatherley, Charles Holland, Ken Hollings, Barney Hoskyns, Reid Kane, Paul Lester, Suhail Malik, Ian Penman, Chris Roberts, Steven Shaviro, Mark Sinker, David Stubbs, Alex Williams, Evan Calder Williams