“Beauty, Time and Space in the Eye of the Beholder”
Showing before all major film events at Arc Cinema.
Reviewed by Johnny Milner
CONCEIVED, captured and edited over a three-year period by Canberra-based artist Christopher Fulham, this is the first collection of video art to be commissioned by the National Film and Sound Archive.
The work is not concerned with narrative, but focuses on how one experiences time and space.
Caught up in the ebb and flow of life and immersed in their own thoughts, his subjects are oblivious to being filmed – camera position is of vital importance. The temporal and cyclic qualities of the films, combined with various forms of visual manipulation such as time shift and symmetrical filtering, draw the viewer in measure-by-measure.
The hypnotic sound component on works such as “Taipei Central” and “Cottesloe Beach” feature the random tinkering of chimes; cyclic swelling of sine tones and bedding layers of obscure electronically manipulated noise.
These sounds shift about occupying the full panorama of the Arc surround sound system. The synthesis of the visual and audio allows for endless combinations, patterns and moments of synchronisation.
It is somewhat unusual, if not perverse, that video art (an esoteric art form usually confined to intimate gallery settings) is presented before narrative-based feature films on one of Australia’s most high-end audiovisual systems.
Although Fulham’s work will undoubtedly perplex some of its viewers, its hypnotic and meditative qualities are a pleasant change from the bombardment of the loud and blatant advertisements that usually precede movie trailers.