JOHN DI STEFANO
Single-channel digital video | 02:00 - looped | Colour | Stereo | 4:3
MERGE is inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow Up, and explores the authority of the photographic image by examining the technological limits of its 'documentary' logic. The notion of interference and failure are key considerations in MERGE as is the attempt to also engage with the materiality and 'techne' of indexical media. MERGE focuses on the video screen as the site (or space) of convergence between the viewer and the image. This work suggests that within the screen itself exists a potential for representation to shift, misalign and reveal something that disrupts the image’s innate logic. As one image is enlarged on the screen, the technical apparatus reaches its capacity to display the image and begins to alias the image. In MERGE we see more and more decontextualized details from a larger image that begins to develop an ambiguous reference to the original. The new image that emerges from the original image becomes more abstract as we engage in a type of archeological process that renders an extremely narrow boundary between the ‘representational’ and the ‘abstract’. Here, the camera’s (in)ability to show detail also says something about the abstract, the reduced, but without necessarily contradicting itself, as the indexicality is nevertheless preserved. MERGE thus examines this space of collision between what one is meant to see and what emerges from an image when one identifies the image’s fissures. The enigmatic visual spaces that emerge in this process, exemplified in the moiré effect for example, speaks to the plasticity of perception, but also models the dynamism of the physical world. This work attempt to identify the border between abstraction and the concrete, realistic representation, the optical illusion between high-resolution, documentary photography and ‘painterly’ aesthetics.
INSTALLATION VIEW: SCA Galleries (Sydney, Australia)
MERGE - detail