Tracey Moffatt - Doomed and Love

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Media Release: November, 2007. 

Intense, spine-tingling, unrelenting… from November 17, New York based, Australian artist Tracey Moffatt returns to City Gallery Wellington with two video works, Doomed (2007) and Love (2003). Winner of the 2007 Infinity Award for Art (International Center of Photography, New York), Tracey Moffatt is a highly acclaimed artist of international significance.

Doomed and Love intoxicate with their heady montages of excerpts from narrative cinema, playing back to us our fascination with disasters, accidents and alien invasions on the one hand and sweet, torrid romance on the other. Buckle up; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”” Heather Galbraith, Senior Curator, City Gallery Wellington

A hi-octane depiction of war, violence and terror, Doomed is comprised of cinema clips of both fictional and reconstructed events drawn from early silent films to the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Steeped with dark humour, the work will invoke a variety of emotional responses - from amusement to alarm. Made in collaboration with Gary Hillberg, Doomed not only plays with the “disaster” genre but demonstrates how the viewer can be seduced by the emotional hook of imminent tragedy. Within the conventions of this genre, adversity is conquered and the odds are overcome but in Doomed there is no such release, amplifying the intensity of the work. The soundtrack, also, builds to ever-heightened moments of climax.

Love is a rollercoaster montage of some of my favorite Hollywood melodramas depicting love scenes, which in the end turn out to be not so romantic.” Moffatt says.

Love, also made in collaboration with Gary Hillberg, is a twenty minute video which also explores Hollywood conventions, this time turning a critical eye to depictions of relationships between men and women. These love scenes are drawn from recognizable films spanning several eras. The selected films clips, at first romantic and sweet, captivate the viewer and entice us, as the scenes crescendo into the violent and frightening.

“Making art is quite therapeutic, like chopping vegetables; it calms me and keeps me off the streets. If I wasn't making photographs or films I would be going around slashing car tires with a butcher's knife.” Tracey Moffatt to Lynne Cooke, Curator, Dia Center for the Arts, New York

Tracey Moffatt was born in Australia in 1960 and is of aboriginal descent. Since her first exhibition in Sydney in 1989, she has had numerous solo shows in major museums around the world. Working in photography, film and video, Moffatt first gained significant critical acclaim when her short film Night Cries was selected for official competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Her first feature film, beDevil, was selected for Cannes in 1993. In 1997, she exhibited in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale and in 1997/98, a major exhibition of Moffatt’s work was held at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York. Recently, comprehensive survey exhibitions of her work have been held at the MCA, Sydney and the Hasselblad Centre in Goteburg, Sweden. City Gallery Wellington mounted a major survey exhibition of Moffatt’s work in 2002.

Tracey Moffat: Doomed & Love

17 November 2007 – 10 February 2008

City Gallery Wellington

City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding support from Wellington City Council.