AKIMBO [2011]

3:38 | New Zealand | Silent | Color | 4:3 | Single-channel video

AKIMBO is comprised of a large-scale photograph, a single-channel video and a digital audio work. This work appropriates a short clip from a family super-8 film of the artist as a young boy at his family home, and uses a proprietary slow-motion technique to extends an otherwise fleeting moment in the original film. The slow-motion technique employed in AKIMBO emphasizes time as a sequence of still images by dissecting the original super-8 film footage (c. 1969) into single (still) photographic frames that are reassembled and slowly dissolved into one another. In the original film, the artist spontaneously strikes an effeminate gesture (i.e. akimbo) for the camera whilst playing in the family garden. This gesture visually echoes the physical stance taken in a photograph of his mother as a young girl standing in  the garden of his ancestral home in Italy (c 1939). The gesture that the artist performs represents a moment of rupture and displacement of conventional male hetero-normative behavior within the immigrant familial narrative. The audio component consists of a montage of the artists mother’s recorded messages left on the artist’s answering machine over a period of 10 years.


Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand