That Last Moment: Recent Wellington Video Art

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Media Release: November, 2004.

This summer, the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery samples the Wellington video art scene. That Last Moment: Recent Wellington Video Art presents work by Kaleb Bennett, VJ Rex, Damon Meade, Johanna Sanders and Bek Coogan, that draws inspiration and influence from sources as diverse as Sergio Leone’s Westerns, sci-fi, 80s music videos and Playstation animation.

In his work That Last Moment, Kaleb Bennett uses footage from the Sergio Leone film Once upon a time in the West’ (1968). Bleached, cropped and set to a throbbing soundtrack, encased in a sculptural construction,That Last Moment  “develops a sense of tension and atmosphere based on the final face-off in the film”, says Michael Hirschfeld Gallery curator Sarah Farrar.

VJ Rex’s work also references the Western genre, splicing out-takes from old movies and television programmes with material downloaded from the internet. Mixing cowboys with sci-fi, VJ Rex’s work references those two uncharted territories: Wild West and Outer Space.

Damon Meade has just completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the School of Fine Arts, Massey University Wellington. His work Habitation Probe calls to mind the swooping perspectives of Playstation games, as the viewer is taken on a wild ride through a computer-generated landscape.

Johanna Sanders’s and Bek Coogan’s collaborative work Shera plays with the visual symbols we associate with 80s music videos: glam costumes, strobe lights, leopard-skin, heavy make-up and pounding keyboards. But what is the screaming woman with the vampire fangs really trying to tell us?