Perhaps more than any other single construction, the digital revolution has posited hybridity, in the human world this means the cyborg; in the visual world this has meant the seamless integration of the real and the artificial, the photographic and the painterly. The Australian artist Tracey Moffatt’s photographs and films precisely explore the relationship between artifice and authenticity, particularly between real and synthetic documents. Tracey Moffatt moves easily between the photographic and the cinematic creating visually intense, even histrionic performances, as a way to investigate, on the political front, issues of race and class, and on the epistemological front, issues of photographic narrative, hybrid visual forms, coded messages, and theatricality. Shot on sound stages, with painted backdrops and using actors, her stylized series of photographs and films reference cinematic history, art history, literary sources, and Australian popular art and Aboriginal art.

These images are from Something More a nine-part photo tableau shot against a vividly painted set which forces the viewer to experience the tension and lack of resolution between the literal transcription of reality and the stylized reconstruction of the world.

Night Cries 
Flash video | 1 min 11 seg | 8.9 Mb  

And here is a short cut from "Night Cries": A Rural Tragedy which again contrasts naturalistic documentary filmmaking with media and theater. On an isolated, Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. Their story alludes to the assimilation policy that forced Aboriginal children to be raised within white families.



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