Tracey Moffatt
Born in 1960 in Brisbane (Australia).
Lives in Sydney (Australia).
Love (Edited by Gary Hillberg), 2003
Found footage montage on video and DVD, 20:51 min.
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 gallery, Sydney
The visual sequence of "Love" is made completely from fragments of Hollywood films from various years, iconic and impactful for several generations of the Western world (and not just there). Therefore, by showing only love scenes this work basically dissects the symbolic conception of love that has been built into the consciousness of contemporary society.
It is important to note that Moffatt edits the spoken passages in such a way that their junctions are not hidden but rather exposed (one way she achieves this is by alternating black-and-white and colour films). The result is that the visual continuity of the film is interrupted and the viewer cannot be fully "immersed" in what is shown and takes a distanced stance. Simultaneously the artist groups several clips that are similar in theme and situations into compact units. It becomes clear that the obviously different is manifolded here to reveal the obvious similarities that exist. Ultimately the viewer sees the stereotypes of situations and images in cinema production. The film begins with a lengthy succession of sentimental declarations of love, each of which sounds strikingly honest and heartfelt, but this is done to eventually lay bare how cliché and false they are. The following units of cinema fragments mark that love in Hollywood is always in league with violence: the relationship of men and women are a permanent war instigated by man, but ended by woman, who appears in the part of a "rampant vixen", revealing her "true female nature". On the whole, there is another quite important critical diagnosis that Moffatt makes of Hollywood productions. In the sequence of countless women flickering throughout "Love", only two are black, and without fail both are paired with black men. For decades cinema has taught the Western viewer that beauty, sensuality and desirability equal white.
artistic director of the project: Viktor Misiano
National Center for Contemporary Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
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