Sigmund Freud once stated that dreams dramatise ideas; in this dramatisation process, thoughts are turned into a sensorial situation. Freud’s writings mark a turning point for philosophers, artists and sociologists alike, who have become increasingly aware of the relationship between dreams and film. From the spectatorial condition to the postmodern narrative, the two make a likely pair. Not surprisingly, these conditions also appear in art, whose purpose – arguably – is also to articulate, suggest or dramatise ideas, thoughts and feelings.
As part of the 19th Biennale of Sydney, Dream Factory looks at the influence of film on the practice of contemporary artists with respect to the formal, perceptive and psychological qualities of this medium.
Images from Dream Factory
PROGRAM Saturday, 7 June
11 am–12 pm ‘A BEGINNING, A MIDDLE, AND AN END’, Russell Ferguson
12.05–1 pm Fragmented Realities: Dr Bruce Isaacs, and 19th Biennale artists Henry Coombes and Daniel McKewen
1.45–2.30 pm Sound Unseen: Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, and 19th Biennale artists Sonia Leber and David Chesworth
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: ‘A BEGINNING, A MIDDLE, AND AN END’
Presented by Russell Ferguson, Professor of Art at UCLA, A BEGINNING, A MIDDLE, AND AN END will deal with the question of narrative in art and mainstream film and the relationship between them.
Currently Professor of Art at the University of California Los Angeles, Professor Russell Ferguson is a curator, academic, writer and editor. From 2001, he was Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs, and Chief Curator, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, where he remains an adjunct curator. From 1991 to 2001, he was at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, first as Editor, then as Associate Curator. He has curated solo shows for 19th Biennale artists Douglas Gordon and Mathias Poledna, and extensively covered their work in lectures, catalogue essays, periodicals and the book, Douglas Gordon, which was published by Cambridge: MIT Press in 2001.
Ferguson is the editor of two collections of critical writing: Discourses: Conversations in Postmodern Art and Culture, and Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures, both published by the MIT Press. He has written about the work of many contemporary artists, including Thomas Eggerer, Olafur Eliasson, Tony Feher, Rodney Graham, Cristina Iglesias, Damian Ortega, Laura Owens and Gillian Wearing.
Fragmented Realities: Dr Bruce Isaacs, and 19th Biennale artists Henry Coombes and Daniel McKewen
From the pervasive impact of the Hollywood industry on our self-conception and self-image to the psychological import of theatrical staging and filmic techniques, the influence of cinema upon our lives is pervasive. In this panel, Coombes and McKewen discuss with Dr Bruce Isaacs their compelling video works at Carriageworks and the influence of film aesthetics and the industry on their practice.
Bruce Isaacs is a lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published work on film history and theory, with a particular interest in the deployment of aesthetic systems in classical and post-classical American cinema. His most recent work, The Orientation of Future Cinema: Technology, Aesthetics, Spectacle (Bloomsbury) was published in 2013.
Sound Unseen: Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, and 19th Biennale artists Sonia Leber and David Chesworth
Sound presented to us from an unseen source manifests surprising psycho-physiological effects. Most significantly, our attention is drawn away from the ‘object’ to the ‘content’ of sound – a sensorial shift is created. Delving into the history, mechanics and effects of acoustimatic sound, Nikos Papastergiadis discusses with Sonia Leber and David Chesworth their multi-channel audio work for the 19th Biennale of Sydney, This Is Before We Disappear From View, 2014.
Nikos Papastergiadis is Professor at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. His current research focuses on the investigation of the historical transformation of contemporary art and cultural institutions by digital technology. His publications include Modernity as Exile (1993), Dialogues in the Diaspora (1998), The Turbulence of Migration (2000), Metaphor and Tension (2004), Spatial Aesthetics: Art Place and the Everyday (2006), Cosmopolitanism and Culture (2012) as well as being the author of numerous essays which have been translated into over a dozen languages and appeared in major catalogues such as the Sydney, Liverpool, Istanbul, Gwanju, Taipei, Lyon, Thessaloniki Biennales and documenta.
This program was made possible with generous assistance from the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, with assistance from the U.S. Consulate General, Sydney
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