Griffith University Art Museum presents survey of experimental video art

Griffith University Art Museum opens their new exhibition Cognitive Dissidents: Reasons to be Cheerful this week, exploring the development of Australian video art from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Comprising over 20 works, Cognitive Dissidents: Reasons to be Cheerful features influential artists such as Joan Brassil, Warren Burt, Peter Callas, Barbara Campbell, Francesca da Rimini & Josephine Starrs, David Perry, Jill Scott, Warwick Thornton and Geoffrey Weary.

The exhibition has been curated by respected Sydney curator, artist and conservator Stephen Jones, who has worked with video since the early 1970s.

“Video’s capacity for self-reflexivity has meant that it has always been a fluid and expansive medium,” he said.

“As a documentary form, video has reflected and informed political movements and social experimentation. It also allows for new image-making possibilities using video feedback, in which the image generates itself.

“Artists using video have worked across an impressive variety of experimental modes, including film, but an exploitation of this capacity for internal reflection — for feedback — remains the medium’s unifying characteristic.”

The title of the show is a playful take on the 1979 song Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3 by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, which reflects the energy and optimism for change embodied in this selection of works.

Griffith University Art Museum Director Angela Goddard said the medium of video is always at the vanguard of change and transformation, whether in socio-political, personal, musical or technological realms.

“Since their inception, film, video and moving image works have been at the forefront of culture, in the ways artists reflect ourselves back to us and explore urgent issues,” she said.

“This show gives the works being made today historical context. We are excited to explore the artform’s recent history and look at these works in a new way.”

The exhibition’s official opening will be held on Thursday 20 February at 6pm. There will be a curator’s talk with Stephen Jones on Saturday 22 February at 2pm. Attendance is free, and open to the public.

List of artists: ARF ARF, Debra Beattie, Joan Brassil, Warren Burt, Bush Video, Peter Callas, Barbara Campbell, John Conomos, Justine Cooper, Francesca da Rimini & Josephine Starrs, Merilyn Fairskye,Michelle Mahrer, Frank Osvath, David Perry, Jeune Pritchard & Luce Pelissier, r e a, Jill Scott, Warwick Thornton, Linda Wallace, Geoffrey Weary.


EXHIBITION: 20 February — 9 April 2020. Tuesday to Saturday, 11am — 4pm, or by appointment.
WHERE: Griffith University Art Museum, 226 Grey Street, South Bank
CONTACT: Visit the website or call 07 3735 3140