Elizabeth Corkery
Pieces from Pictures

July 7 - August 18, 2017

“What was once a film in a movie theater, then a fragment of broadcast television, is now a kernel of physical representations, a fleeting association of discrete elements…the more the film is distanced in memory, the more the binding effect of the narrative is loosened. The sequence breaks apart. The fragments go adrift and enter into new combinations, more or less transitory, in the eddies of memory: memories of other films, and memories of real events.”
- Victor Burgin, The Remembered Film, 2004. Reaktion Books, London, UK.

Outside is excited to present an installation of new work by Australian artist Elizabeth Corkery. Pieces from Pictures generates a symbiotic relationship between cinematic sequence and sculptural ensemble, using the gallery as a mechanism for installation to present ideas of duration and simultaneity. The piece builds on Corkery’s collective body of work that has explored the traditional boundaries between prints/architecture, surface/depth, image/matter, while making more explicit the relation between spatial perception, bodily motion and perceived passages of time.

Using the 1936 film The Great Ziegfeld as her point of visual reference, Corkery has created a new sequence of sculptures, photographs, fabricated pedestal structures and panoramic wall covering. The Great Ziegfeld is a compelling example of how early motion pictures presented the (emerging) film image in (established) theatrical terms. The site, history and even performers of the theatre world were adopted as content and character for many early films. Cinema was directly adapted from live stage shows, using the environment of the theatre as a site for narrative-driven action.

Corkery reflects on this tension between theatrical content and cinematic form primarily through her combined use of photography and sculpture; mediums that speak to the past and present. Theatrical, artificial rock formations are presented on a trio of pedestals around the gallery and a series of black and white photographs capture these forms, confusing their origin story and proposing that one representation may predate the other.

The sculptures present stills from The Great Ziegfeld; scenes that have been captured from elaborate dance sequences, halting the movement of performers in a perpetual freeze frame. Corkery’s stills are reproduced through the process of silkscreen printing, transforming the image from the vertical “big screen” and physically pulling it through a horizontal stretched silkscreen. Corkery locks these filmic instants in geological form, introducing a comparison between “film time”, “real time” and the expanded passage of geological time.

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