QAGOMA - Physical Video
'Physical Video' features video art drawn from the QAGOMA Gallery’s Collection. While thematically diverse, each work engages the human body and shows how artists use physical gestures and actions to illustrate social, political and aesthetic concerns. Acts of endurance are complemented by playful exploration of elements — particularly air, water and fire — as well as objects encountered in everyday life.
Many of the works point to a resurgence in direct-to-camera performance, a process that enables artists to document themselves within the privacy of their studios. Feeling the burn 2006 by James Oram, and Walking the wall 2014 by Angela Tiatia, recall the performance-based works of the 1960s and 1970s by artists such as Dennis Oppenheim and Rebecca Horn, who used their own bodies as the primary instrument to critique conventions, often by pushing their bodies to extremes.
Other artists in the exhibition use the body as a conduit to explore history, culture and identity within larger theatrical settings. In Memorial Project Nha Trang, Vietnam, towards the complex - for the courageous, the curious, and the cowards 2001 by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, cyclo drivers drag their pedal carts across the seabed to symbolise the risk and struggle of refugees in postwar Vietnam. Gymnasium 2010 by Tarryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont pits ideas of physical perfection against questions of Australian national identity, and in Static electricity of cat's cradle 2007 by Donghee Koo, a simple game for children simulates the awkwardness of human interaction.
Through small gestures and modes of performance, the works in 'Physical Video' invite audiences to think about the use of physicality to explore ideas beyond the action itself.
An accompanying Education resource is available to download.