Icons. - The Human Condition.
Religion. Hollywood. Light. Dark. Body. Soul.
These concepts are a constant ever changing conundrum, in an age of global media, obsessed with celebrity and objects of desire. Is reality as we see it real, or is it us, living through others. The faces that we face are not the other's, but our own, reflected. Icons are our reflection and we are theirs.
What is a chemical reaction between two forms. Are their souls waking up. Pushing them towards each other. An electromagnetic force propelling them towards each other. Through the noise and the lights and the signs and souls around them. What divine force connects them together.
Louise Galea uses the frame of the photograph to tear the head and feet from an unnamed woman, reducing her body to a carcass of curves and glossy fleshtones picked out by the light of a TV set. The TV is itself filled with the disembodied head and shoulders of Robbie Williams, whose studiedly moody expression turns to where the woman’s hand lies suggestively between her legs.
Galea makes many such pairings of nameless torsos and famous heads in this haunting series of images. Her interest in the sexual undertones of framing a scene invites comparisons to the amputated feet and legs of Manet or Renouard, but is most obviously descended from the transgressive prostheses of Cindy Sherman or Robert Mapplethorpe. The glossy smoothness of the tones and colours offer an antiseptic, yet disturbingly bestial vision of the human appetite. In Untitled sculptural male body, (framed once again into a tailors dummy arrangement) acts almost as a heraldic support (one hand braced against the top of the TV set, the other grasping the penis) to a watchful image of Clooney, a two-dimensional symbol of some entirely superficial and illusory tryst between the consumer and their ‘object’ of desire.
If you can imagine a melancholic Marshall McLuhan playing peeping Tom on random members of the ‘DVD generation’ then you get close to the spirit of this work. Galea portrays our reliance on ‘amputation’, artificial substitutes that replace real human contact with the narrow pleasures of masturbation, metaphorical or otherwise. And, like all substitutes, the original was never really ‘there’ in the first place.
Mitchell Miller. Curator. The Drouth Magazine.
‘The bodies of these public figures are prostheses for our own mutant desirability. For stars are products of our own light projected above us, and often we come to feel that they influence us etymologically: flow into us too much. As Warhol must have sensed, this star-production can pass beyond the sadomasochistic to the paranoid: the relation to the star becomes a problem of distance (the star is too far from us, or too close) that is a problem of control the star has too little, or too much, over us.’
Hal Foster. Death In America.
'I am not simply that punctiform being located at the geometral point form which the perspective is grasped. No doubt, in the depths of my eye, the picture is painted. The picture, certainly, is in my eye. But I, I am in the picture. Lacan.'
Hal Foster. The Return Of The Real.
“Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all there- I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen to you in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television-you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but its all television. When you’re really involved with something you’re usually thinking about something else. When something’s happening, you fantasize about other things. When I woke up somewhere- I didn’t know I was at the hospital and that Bobby Kennedy had been shot the day after I was- I heard fantasy words about thousands of people being in St. Patrick’s Cathedral praying and carrying on, and then I hear the word “Kennedy” and that brought me back to the television world again because then I realized, well, here I was, in pain. Andy Warhol'
Hal Foster. Death in America.
'Truth does not appear when falsity has been confirmed, but falsity is apparent from truth confirmed. All falsity is in darkness and all truth in light. In darkness nothing is seen, nor indeed is it known what anything is except by contact with it, but it is different in the light. In the word, falsities are therefore called darkness and those who are in falsities are said to walk in darkness and in the shadow of death. In turn truths are called light in it and those who are in truths are said to walk in the light and to be the children of light.
What is light in itself. Is not light only something which appears in the eye according to the eyes condition. What is light when the eye is closed. Do not bats and owls have eyes to see light as darkness and darkness as light. Does one not have light in his dreams in the middle of the night. Is darkness not light, therefore and light darkness.'
Emanuel Swedenborg. Divine Providence.
'The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be clear, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.'
Mathew 6. 22
'Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal, bad poets deface what they take and good poets make it into something better or at least something different.'
'A symbol is a device by which a message can be carried effectively to the subconscious part of the mind. Symbols are effective because the language of the subconscious mind is composed of symbols and pictures. The subconscious mind is primitive or childlike and the symbols used to communicate with it should be chosen accordingly.'
Cutting The Ties That Bind Us. Phyllis Krystal
'Most of the time the faces that we face are not the other guys, but our own faces and it is the worst kind of yellowness to be scared of yourself that you put blindfolds on rather than deal with yourself. To face ourselves, that’s the hard thing.'
Six Degrees Of Separation. Fred Schepisi.
‘Icon to me, is something you look at, that is almost religious. It’s inspiring and defines a moment in time for me.’
Pete Waterman Record Producer.
'(on Duane Michals)....‘Photography cannot represent reality .... He has sought to undermine accepted complacency’s, to pose if not necessarily to answer, questions about the nature of reality, photography and art.... Strains against the conceptions and the limitations of the medium.... He parades the weaknesses and mistakes of the medium, it’s blurs and double exposures, not to define a specifically photographic way of seeing but to picture what cannot be seen by eye or camera.... photographs altered by painting elements directly on the picture or around it’s edges, further confounding the purity of the medium and hinting that painting and photography are equally incapable of depicting what we think of as reality but might yet form an alliance to arrive at some other realm of experience’
Contemporary Photographers. Vicky Goldberg.
2003. Masters Fine Art. Chelsea College. University of the Arts, London.
2002. Post Graduate Diploma Fine Art. Goldsmiths. University of London.
1999. Post Graduate Diploma Education. RMIT University, Melbourne.
1997. Bachelors Fine Art – Multi Media. RMIT University, Melbourne.
1992. Bachelors Fine Art. Latrobe University, Bendigo.