All the works in this exhibition, to varying degrees, serve to break
the monopoly of traditional European landscape, and replace it with
alternatives for which we might or might not yet have a name - but which
we could just as well call 'landscape' and thus splinter the semantic
field of that term. And it's not trivial that these works are moving
images. The moving image is probably the medium or aesthetic site in
which we see, most powerfully, the wresting away and reclaiming of the
landscape tradition from its bourgeois-Romantic roots.
- Eu Jin Chua 'Untethering Landscape'
For UK film and video makers growing up in the experimental ferment
of the 1960s and 1970s, a simple reconstitution of romantic traditions
of landscape painting was untenable; the iconoclasm of the age demanded
a radical rethink of both the plastic arts and the grammar of film and
television that came boxed with the movie camera. Painting was jettisoned
along with conventional sculptural forms and what was regarded as a
redundant landscape tradition.
- Catherine Elwes & Steven Ball 'Polyvocal Islands: Moving Images
from the Landscapes of the British Isles'
The histories, experiences, understandings, stories, and lives that
have been suppressed during two centuries of white occupation [of Australia]
have provided a rich though painful wellspring from which many artists
have continued to draw. And although such territory is often 'deadly'
serious, the approaches through which artists have chosen to interpret
this undercurrent range from parody to gravitas.
- Danni Zuvela & Pat Hoffie, 'When Boundaries Flicker'
When applied to landscape, imagination encourages the ability to
propose astute what-if scenarios that might help us stimulate some disrupted
spaces so that they can become places again. This imagining must be
partly speculation and partly remembrance. 'Remember' is a word that
bears examination. It is a bodily word, the active verb sub- tending
the noun 'memory'. Memory comes from two roots, memor, meaning 'to be
mindful', and membrum, a limb. When you remember, you put a body back
together by coordinating some disaggregated or severed members.
- Ross Gibson, 'Remembering a Future for Landscape in Australia'
Despite the fragility of our memories and the ways in which they
are absorbed into the enormity of the landscape, it is through the landscape
that we can and do find a sense of belonging and permanence. Beyond
the indelible and visible markings that we leave on the land, we also
imprint traces of our selves.
- Stan Frankland, 'Caught on Uncertain Ground: Belonging and Permanence
in Moving Image Landscapes'
When you look at a landscape what do you see? This of course depends
on who you are. It also depends on what you consider a landscape to
be, how it is seen, and what you think there is to be seen. This collection
of films and videos from Australian and British artists helps us to
answer the initial question. It does this by showing that the act of
seeing is not a simple matter: what you think you see is not all there
is to see - what you do not at first see might be equally revealing.
- Eric Hirsch 'Disrupting the View, Revealing the Landscape'
Figuring Landscapes is a multifaceted title. The phrase suggests
the idea of forming landscape, as in 'configure'; it suggests analysis
and interpretation of landscape, as in 'figuring out' the subject; it
could also imply peopling the landscape with figures. It thus compresses
into a single phrase the making, reading, and inhabiting of landscape,
which is after all what our lives are about: where we choose to settle,
how we mould our environment, how we see ourselves within that environment,
spatially and historically.
- Malcolm Andrews, 'Impressing the Landscape: Place and Human Presence
in the Recent Work of British Moving Image Artists'