As part of my plan to see as much of this year’s Biennale of Sydney as possible, I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art this afternoon. Compared with the AGNSW, there’s a LOT of video art on display at the MCA. And although I really like video art a lot of what was on offer held little or no appeal, with much of it nothing more, in my view, than video documentary.
However there were some pieces I really liked. In particular, my favourite video piece was by Navjot Altaf, an artist from India. The combination of projection screens along with with tiled mirrors on the floor in front, as I watched the ocean waves rolling in to shore, (with accompanying sound), I was transported out of the gallery magically and briefly. And then, suddenly, the ocean turned blood red, and then was divided up into smaller screens, revealing many hidden layers of meaning. This piece worked on so many levels.
Another favourite work was by Calin Dan, a Romanian performance artist, whose worked included a small video of him wearing a virtual reality headset and running in circles. It was both intriguing and interesting to watch and I actually began to feel a little giddy myself just watching.
Of the non-video work, I quite liked the installation by Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena from New Zealand, who had created a series of alien heads straight out of Star Trek. The other interesting installation piece was by Julie Mehretu and Stephen Vitiello whose work consisted of a series of speakers hanging from the ceiling which you could see vibrate thanks to the accompanying ambient sound.