Friday, 20 August 2021 – Sunday, 3 October 2021.
NETS Victoria has a rich history of supporting video artists, touring their work to galleries throughout Australia, often with guest curators, in a variety of contexts. This showcase explores a selection of these artists and more. Video Now presents a wide array of video-based practices, from explorations of bodily experience and reflections on the fleeting nature of time, to symbolic acts of endurance and social relations. The exhibition posits that contemporary video can be captivating, provocative and confounding. Be enthralled by an overview of video art today and its generative nature as an art form of our times.
|When:||Friday, 20 August 2021 – Sunday, 3 October 2021.|
|Where:||Swan Hill Regional Gallery|
|Cost:||Gold coin donation|
National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. NETS Victoria also receives significant in-kind support from the National Gallery of Victoria.
‘This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria’.
Image: Catherine Bell, The Artist and The Mermaid 2020. Black and white film still. Silent film: 6minutes. Courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
B. 1969, Sydney, Eora Nation, Australia
Lives and works in Melbourne / Naarm, Australia
The Artist and the Mermaid, 2020 Digital video
Courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery
“The Artist and The Mermaid” (2020) is a silent film that documents the shared artist residency undertaken by “The Two Cathies” at Venus Bay 2020. Cathy Staughton and Catherine Bell are artist collaborators and have been each other’s muse since 2009 when they met at Arts Project Australia. The silent film genre has been selected because for a brief time in history, it provided an inclusive experience for the hearing impaired who could fully participate in this popular cultural form as equal members of the audience.
This silent film is both a documentary and performance artwork. It documents Cathy painting a series of nude portraits of Catherine Bell, while she performs the role of a mermaid that Cathy Staughton discovers on the beach. The film and portraits explore the ageing female body and bodily difference through this mythological character. The seaside is a site where negative body image is often experienced, so selecting the beach setting and mermaid guise aims to promote positive images of older women and dispel negative stereotypes of ageing. Mermaids are usually depicted as young women and their transition from sea to land involves surrendering their unique anatomy. Cathy’s acceptance of her mermaid friend’s bodily difference subverts this traditional narrative, and through their creative exchange, promotes body positivity, interdependence and empowerment.
Artist and Australian Catholic University Associate Professor Catherine Bell is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator and academic. Her art practice explores the role of the artist in the archive and health care setting, art on the margins, socially-engaged and relational approaches to art making, feminist and care ethics in collaborative practice and challenging taboos surrounding death and dying. She is the curator of current NETS Victoria touring exhibition, FEM-aFFINITY, that explores collaborative practice as a feminist mode of production. Catherine has been awarded a 2020-23 Gertrude Contemporary studio.
Catherine Bell is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
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