Artrage Show in Brisbane

Griffith Artworks in Brisbane currenly has an exhibition of art videos made for television in the 1990s.

“A milestone in the history of video art in Australia, the art rage: artworks for television series was commissioned from over 80 artists and aired on rage, the ABC’s late night music video show.

Screened between 1994-1998, art rage: artworks for television comprised works of up to three minutes by established and emerging artists including Hany Armanious, Adam Cullen, Dale Frank, John Gillies, Ross Harley, Nike Savvas, John Tonkin, Kathy Temin, Jay Younger, Gordon Bennett, Destiny Deacon and Fiona Hall, Patricia Piccinini, Susan Norrie, Brook Andrew, Scott Redford, Robert Mercer and Campfire Group, John Gillies, Mike Parr, Ian Howard and Justine Cooper.

Artist makes video: art rage survey 1994-1998 is a rare chance to see all these works together since they first stormed our lounge rooms in the 1990s.”

Here’s what I said for the catalogue:

Most of the images I used for this piece were shot on a field trip I made to Las Vegas while doing an artist-in-residency at the Australia Council’s Santa Monica studio. I figured if LA was the mecca for the art of automobility, then Las Vegas was like a sister city connected by a thin ribbon of blacktop: a mirror image of the kitsch surfaces that spring up in these just-add-water metropolises. This was one of the first things I ever did in AfterEffects, and the images are masked and animated after the style of George Herriman or at least that was the inspiration. Las Vegas has a dizzying array of industrial-military landscapes of consumption edged hard up against the inhospitable desert. One could easily forget that not so long ago, this was the site of atomic testing and military secrets. The music is a mash-up of Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling, themselves masters of the mash-up from the same era as Herriman (the 30s and 40s). The work was commissioned to fit into the late night rock programming of Rage, and so I adopted a stance that I thought matched that space, yet still managed to look odd against the slick production values of the commercial music video.

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Ross Harley 24 May 2007