Sunday, August 11, 2013

Freeze Frame

Thomas: The Moment Before Connecting was the first in a series of enamel paintings inspired by film stills. It was exhibited at my first, self-produced show, Hazed, in Brisbane, in 1997, and argued the idea that episodes from every contemporary, hyper-mediated life are edited and replayed in memory as cinematic fragments. These paintings were the out-takes, the isolated frames, with characters extracted from familiar yet unresolved scripts.

Most of the other works in the Film Stills series were glossy, colourful and sexually suggestive, each unabashed by the inspiration they drew from the clich├ęs of advertising and mass-media entertainment. But Thomas: The Moment Before Connecting was different. It was a unique (in my work) expression of masculine tension, tapping a primal undercurrent of frustration and violence. It was also the first to reveal my own sexual duality. I used my own brother, Thomas, as its model.   

Thomas: The Moment Before Connecting remains an unsettling, atypical work from a decade-long oeuvre that focuses on the way female identity is shaped, sometimes insidiously, by media. Yet it remains at the very core of ideas that still pre-occupy my imagination and for which I am still looking for a coherent – and yes, filmic – ‘edit’. 

(For Lawson-Menzies auction catalogue, 2013)

1 comment:

Bickie said...

Hello Hazel,

I've been taking some down time at my day job to read women's blogs and reflect on stuff, including my own art, so I've been dipping into your blog for the past couple of days, following a link from a fat activism blog.

I am an artist, but my day job for the past 15 years has been the production arm of advertising, the technical nitty gritty of getting that ad or crappy brochure off to the printer. My disenchantment with the ad world (it's a career that I've found really hard to care about, but I have a stupidly strong work ethic so I've gotten really good at it) coupled with my frustration at not being able to just do what I wanted to and paint or whatever I was doing at the time has resulted in a serious depressive episode, which has just been one of several, really, over my 41 years.

I never (stupidly) actually thought that in Australia, you could just take yourself off the gallery systems' tit, for some reason it never occurred to me, so that's how I found your blog.

I went to school with some guys who are very much the 'white Australian male painter' type - one is a modern landscape painter, the other wanted to be the new Velasquez. They're both represented by the same gallery, are both uniformly saleable and successful, one is interesting (but sleazy) the other is technically proficient but curiously flat as far as raising an emotional response. These were the brightest stars of my graduating year according to the commercial gallery system. There were much much better artists, some of whom are female and are now emerging, which encourages me, and makes me feel that there is hope for my work to be at least seen occasionally.

I don't know where I'm going to go with my work - certainly my depression has held me back, as well as my habit of questioning every aspect of my being, and thus talking myself out of things before I even start them. My partner and I have no children and are unlikely to at our age, so I am planning to give myself a serious chance and not let myself get too wrapped up in the day job (which is still demanding).

I really just wanted to say hi, and tell you that I envy your ability to be so honest in this blog. I would like to be the same. Confrontation is not my strong point though, so I'd probably regret it at the first nasty comment and retreat into my habit of wearing a tightly buttoned up Victorian dress to protect my privacy, so that people leave me be.

Regards, Vicki Jankowski