Tracey Moffatt – My Horizon | Australian Pavilion, Venice Art Biennale 2017
All photos © Inexhibit, 2017
Curator: Natalie King
Featured artist: Tracey Moffatt
The Australian Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale 2017; photo © Inexhibit
Tracey Moffatt – My Horizon. Australian Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale 2017
At the 57th International Art exhibition of the Venice Biennale, the pavilion of Australia presents a solo exhibition of Tracey Moffatt (b. 1960, Brisbane).
Entitled My Horizon and curated by Natalie King, the exhibition features two series of large-scale photographs, and two videos by the artist, well-known for her works which combine reality and fiction into carefully studied and highly personal creations, often inspired by film imagery, particularly those of the classical Hollywood’s era, Surrealist cinema, and Italian Neorealismo.
The first photographic series, entitled Body Remembers, comprises ten photographs which portrait, in an old-fashioned sepia style, a woman (played by Moffatt herself) visiting an old house surrounded by ruins. The pictures depict dream-like scenes which evoke the mysterious images of Magritte and Buñuel, and instil subtle doubts and questions in the observer.
Is it the house in which the woman once lived? Is it a vision of the future? Is it the depiction of a moment of change?
Moffatt doesn’t give us an answer, it is up to us and to our imagination to find one, if any.
Compared to the first, Passage, the second photo suite, is equally mysterious, yet vividly colored. Moffatt depicts here a group of characters – a mother, a baby, a policeman, and a slim hat-wearing figure, she calls “the middleman” – who, in turn, interact with one another into twelve scenes inspired to some extent by the aesthetics of the 1940s film noir.
The exhibition also features two videos, each two minutes long.
Virgil focuses on the tragedy of mass-migration of refugees reaching Australia from the third word by combining crude clips from news footage with picture of Hollywood stars, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Julie Christie.
The second video, entitled The white ghosts sailed in, is a fictional film documentary allegedly made in 1788 by Australian Indigenous people depicting Sydney Harbor with a film camera prototype discarded by Captain Cook.
Venice Art Biennale 2017, Australian Pavilion, Tracey Moffatt’s My Horizon, installation view; photo © Inexhibit
Venice Art Biennale 2017, Australian Pavilion, Tracey Moffatt, Body Remembers, series of 10 large-scale photographs; photos © Inexhibit
Venice Art Biennale 2017, Australian Pavilion, Tracey Moffatt, Virgil, 2-minute video with sound, photo © Inexhibit
Venice Art Biennale 2017, Australian Pavilion, Tracey Moffatt, Passage, series of 12 large-scale photographs; photos © Inexhibit