Alexandra Savtchenko-Belskaia, the dissolution of the photographic image / bodies in space a slideshow (pedagogical tool / learning while teaching), 2012

Pick 'N Mix Alex Porter, Rosie Rowe, Alexandra Savtchenko-Belskaia, Ted Whitaker

15 May 2012 - 16 June 2012

The Blue Oyster is proud to announce the construction of a new Audio Visual Gallery that will exhibit audiovisual work. The addition to our gallery is intended to provide a space tailored to work that due to its aural or luminous characteristics does not fit in the diffuse white cube of the Blue Oyster. To celebrate the opening of the A/V Gallery we have invited a selection of artists whose work we think will get the best from the space. Each work will be played for a week at a time with changeover on Saturdays throughout the five week rotation.


N or NW Alex Porter

Largely drawn from autobiographical references N or Nor W is a lyrical expression of inner and outer landscapes that centres around the study of the infamous Cantebury wind. The title and certain elements of the short film pay homage to pioneering New Zealand filmmaker Len Lye’s N or Nor W (1936) as well as non-industrial and surrealist cinematography. The film was originally created for a "Cinebooth" - a small theatre for one - and this re-exhibition seeks to place the film in a similar booth-like environment. Porter graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts with an MFA in 2011.

Concepción Rosie Rowe

Concepción is real-time memory juxtaposed with ambient sounds that might occupy a spartan bedroom or a walk to the local dairy. It is about losing everything you love, except your love, and springing back to life. Rosie Rowe is a filmmaker from Portland, Oregon. She now lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

the dissolution of the photographic image / bodies in space a slideshow (pedagogical tool / learning while teaching)
 Alexandra Savtchenko-Belskaia

This slide show asks a question about the nature of the contemporary photographic image by taking a look at its predecessors. The sequence tracks some of its trends and stylistic inclinations, sketching out its genealogy by forging narratives from formal, narrative and ideological links. Painting, documentary, press photography and fashion are all woven into this makeshift history of art photography as part of the fabric of the image world. Photography informed by painting, painting influenced by photography; images appropriated, interrogated, fabricated while their content gradually wears down. Absorbing the affect of minimalism and the lineage of conceptual art and commercialism, the contours of the photographic image become sharper while contemporary photographic meaning becomes intentionally more complex. The specificity of photographic representation intensifies, while its language becomes increasingly more abstract. As a medium photography matures in its ability to contain and embody the complexity of our contemporary experience.

The slide show was made as a lecture for students in Year 1 at Elam School of Fine Arts while Alexandra was involved in teaching the course as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Frames and Fragments
 Ted Whitaker

"In the tiny size of the image, in the jerkiness resulting from bandwidth bottlenecks, and in the fuzziness arising from the necessary lossy compression, streaming movies refuse any sense of totaling sleekness or predictable structure."*

Frames and Fragments explores how the viewer interacts with motion picture whether in a conventional cinema, gallery, or personal computer and takes the lead for its form from the Blue Oyster's A/V Gallery. Frames and Fragments uses cinema as a travel portal, referencing Aotearoa's history of geographical isolation and certain familiar representations of the land in its art history. Although Aotearoa engages in a vast online culture, there is, and may always be, bandwidth distortions - both literally in the sometimes stuttering delivery of data, and more ethereally, in the way in which our inevitable physical distance from the source of the information creates a potential distortion of (unknowable) truth. An online cinematic experience is disheveled, ragged and fragmented: streaming a motion picture creates its own aesthetic.

Ted Whitaker is a Dunedin based electronic artist, curator and film maker. He works under a broad practice of electronic media, from web, film, video and print. Currently working within the Dunedin School of Art as a Technician in Electronic Arts he is a graduate of The Dunedin School of Art with a BFA major in electronic Arts.

*Chua, Eu Jin from A Minor Cinema: Moving Images on the Internet published in 'The Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader', eds. Stella Brennan and Su Ballard. Auckland, New Zealand: Aotearoa Digital Arts Trust and Clouds Publishing, 2008.

Presented alongside Simon Esling and Clara Chon Suicide Pavilions and Shannon Williamson Back to You.