MOMENTUM ⎪ Collection

  1. Title of Work: Paradise Falls I
    Artist: Kate McMillan
    Year Produced: 2011/12
    Medium: HD Digital Film
    Duration: 2 min 49 sec
    Editions: 1/3

    Paradise Falls is the philosophical culmination of the time McMillan spent in Switzerland in 2011 as well as her ongoing PhD project into the forgetting of the history of Wadjemup/Rottnest Island, Western Australia. This significant body of work highlights a shift in her practice, evidenced by a dark and moody palette and the combination of figurative and abstract works that set up an interplay between landscape, memory, forgetting and history. Working across a diverse range of mediums including painting, collage, photography, film and sculpture, this exhibition examines the complex and sustaining residue of these overarching themes. The works cover a range of specific landscapes including Wadjemup/Rottnest Island, the Black Forest in Germany and the winter landscapes of Switzerland. With a focus on island sites and places that exist in isolation, the works attempt to draw parallels between physical landscapes and the psychological landscapes of the artist’s own memories, broader cultural histories and stories.

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  2. Title of Work: Paradise Falls II
    Artist: Kate McMillan
    Year Produced: 2011/12
    Medium: HD Digital Film
    Duration: 3 min 28 sec
    Editions: 1/3

    Paradise Falls II follows a man as he rows towards the silhouette of a craggy island off the coast of Wadjemup/Rottnest. He too appears and disappears from sight, finally lost to the inky black of the ocean. These characters are stand-ins for fractured and partial histories that disappear from focus, yet continue in our collective psyche as dark and haunting traumas. The films are like moving paintings, heavily referencing the romantic tradition of Germanic landscape painting. Unsurprisingly then the work of artists such as Arnold Bocklin (1827-1901) and Casper David Friedrich (1774-1840) become distant cousins to McMillan’s oeuvre. The artist acknowledges and even embraces these quotations but she also holds them in a critical eye as part of an enlightenment ideology that has helped us to forget. Through engaging with the viewing process we participate in a re-remembering, acknowledging the shady edges of things, but also baring witness to the beauty of sadness that is contrary to the horrors of forgetting history.

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  3. Title of Work: PAX DE DEUX
    Artist: Zuzanna Janin
    Year Produced: 2001
    Medium: Video Installation
    Duration: 5 min

    With a title appropriated from ballet, Zuzanna Janin’s “Pas De Deux” (2001) revels in ambiguity. Shot in a jerking close-up of two pairs of legs in constant motion on a blank white background, we are drawn into what could be a dance as readily as a fight. It is a dialogue between two bodies, a give and take of power and physical space. It is also a different perspective on one of Janin’s best-known works, the video installation “The Fight (IloveYouToo)” (2001), where the slight, fragile looking artist takes on a professional heavyweight boxer. To create this work, Janin spent 6 months training with him in the ring. The boxing match in “The Fight” is real and harrowing to watch in its intensity. The camera weaves in and out, dodging and feinting with the fighter’s blows, as close-up and personal as the physical act of combat. Yet for Janin, this combat between two mismatched opponents is also a dance, a language allowing two bodies to communicate. The direct perspective of the camera in “The Fight” draws us into the brutality of this uneven combat. But changing the perspective and dropping the camera to ground level suddenly reveals the ambiguity lurking beneath the violence. For “Pas De Deux,” Janin’s fight performance is shot with the intimacy of a camera moving with the two bodies as they follow the same motions as “The Fight,” but without seeing the blows. The violent mismatch is transfigured into a match, a term which in sports signifies a contest between opposing competitors, whilst in normal usage it means a harmonious pair.

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  4. Title of Work: Personal Time Quartet
    Artist: Gülsün Karamustafa
    Year Produced: 2000
    Duration: 2 min 33 sec

    Gülsün Karamustafa was born in 1946 in Ankara, Turkey. She lives and works in Istanbul, where she is recognized as one of the most important and pioneering Turkish contemporary artists. Her work addresses questions of migration, displacement and military dictatorship (during the 1970s she was imprisoned by the Turkish military). She was refused a passport for sixteen years until the mid-80s and, unlike other Turkish artists, could not emigrate or travel. This enforced isolation led her to an analysis of her own situation and context: the city of Istanbul, interior migration and nomadism within Turkey, and the ideological and psychological ramifications of identity. Like a sociologist or anthropologist, Gülsün Karamustafa explores the historical and social connections of oriental cultures in her works, often using materials that express the hybrid character of different cultures and religions. Ostensibly reverting to historical lore, Karamustafa’s artistic comments oscillate actually between sensual meta-narratives and ironic-critical stories about the present situation, addressing themes of identity and migration, cultural difference and acculturation within the contexts of orientalism and post-colonialism. Since the end of the late 1990s, she has often used already existing materials and images of oriental or occidental origin that she fragments, dismantles and reassembles in order to contrast ‘private’ with ‘public’ by referring to every-day life, culture, art history, and the media.

    The four-part video Personal Time Quartet is concerned with the point of intersection between the artist’s own personal biography and the history of her home country. Having been invited to an exhibition of German domestic interiors from various periods in the twentieth century at the Historical Museum in Hanover, Kar- amustafa was inspired by what she saw there to take a closer look at the similarities between her own childhood reminiscences and these museological German living spaces. The timeframe (or ‘per- sonal time’) covered by these four video’s begins in the year of her father’s birth and ends in the early days of her own childhood. A video screen placed in each of the rooms shows the same young girl – the artist’s alter ego – engaged in various activities. We see her skipping with a skipping rope (dining room, 1906), sorting and folding laundry (kitchen, around 1913), opening cupboards and drawers (living room and parents’ bedroom, around 1930) and painting her nails (room from the 1950s). The films themselves, however, were not shot inside the museum, but rather in her apart- ment in Istanbul. Viewing them therefore gives rise to the most diverse associations. The girl skipping suggests a carefree child- hood, the nail-painting a concern with the artist’s own femininity, the folding of laundry could be read as preparation for her future role of housewife, while opening cupboards and drawers is a way of discovering the hidden secrets and stories that are so much a part of our recollections of childhood and adolescence. In this in- stallation, therefore, Karamustafa not only debunks the local or national specificity of certain styles, but at the same time exposes just how similar the evolution of (female) identity can be, even in very disparate cultures. (Text by Barbara Heinrich, from "Gülsün Karamustafa. My Roses My Reveries", Yapi Kredi Kültür Sanat Yayıncılık A.Ş, Istanbul, 2007.

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  5. Artist: Fiona Pardington (13 individual digital photographs, presented as a digital slide-show)
    Year: 2011
    Medium: digital photographs
    Edition: series of thirteen photographs, 1/10
    Duration: 3 min 15 sec

    Fiona Pardington’s work investigates the history of photography and representations of the body, examining subject-photographer relations, medicine, memory, collecting practices and still life. Her deeply toned photographs are the result of specialty hand printing and demonstrate a highly refined analogue darkroom technique, translated in her more recent practice to digital media. Of Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Scottish descent, Pardington’s practice often draws upon personal history, recollections and mourning to breath new life into traditional and forgotten objects. Her work with still life formats in museum collections, which focuses on relics as diverse as taonga (Māori ancestral treasures), hei tiki (greenstone pendants) and the now-extinct buia bird, calls into question our contemporary relationship with a materialized past as well as the ineffable photographic image. Pardington holds an PhD in photography from the University of Auckland and has received numerous recognitions, including the Ngai Tahu residency at Otago Polytechnic in 2006, a position as Frances Hodgkins Fellow in both 1996 and 1997, the Visa Gold Art Award 1997, and the Moet and Chandon Fellowship (France) from 1991-92. Born in 1961 in Devonport, New Zealand, Pardington lives and works in New Zealand. Pardington participated in MOMENTUM’s 2011 exhibition A WAKE: Still Lives and Moving Images with 30 digital photographs chosen from three discreet series of works, now organized into the single moving image piece “Organic” (2010/11) for the MOMENTUM collection. By pairing seemingly random but personally charged items that once belonged to beloved family members in New Zealand, she questions the nature of human survival in relation to forgotten or altered cultural activity.

    In many ways the Mushrooms: The Champignons Barla series of photographs is simply yet another arrow in Fiona Pardington’s thematic quiver of Eros and Thanatos, the Aristotelian and encyclopaedic collecting policies of the nineteenth century museums, the eighteenth century Wunderkammer cabinet of curiosities, and a pronounced Francophilia. The Musée de l’Histoire Naturelle in Nice, driven by the celebrated naturalist, Antoine Risso (1777-1845), was the first museum to open its doors in that city, in the Place Saint François (the old city square) in 1846.

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MOMENTUM ⎪ Collection

Momentum Worldwide Plus

The MOMENTUM Collection is a growing collection of international video art comprising the best and brightest artists we have shown and collaborated with worldwide. The Collection represents a cross-section of digital artworks at the top of the field.

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The MOMENTUM Collection is a growing collection of international video art comprising the best and brightest artists we have shown and collaborated with worldwide. The Collection represents a cross-section of digital artworks at the top of the field. It ranges from some of the most established to emerging video artists, including work from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Finland, the US, the UK, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Germany. The works in the Collection have been generously donated by the artists to support MOMENTUM, as we are a non-profit organization. In turn, MOMENTUM is committed to supporting our collaborating artists by exhibiting and promoting the Collection internationally and making it available on our website as a resource to inform and inspire the public and art professionals alike.

The Collection is being used in educational curriculums, and is available as a resource to interested individuals and institutions. Furthering MOMENTUM’s mission to promote the sharing and exchange of resources, the Collection has toured through Berlin and Venice at the time of the Venice Biennale (2011), and in 2012 was screened in Jerusalem in a public art festival, on a public art screen in Berlin, and was presented in select international art events.

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