I THOUGHT YOU'D NEVER ASK
6 - 23 Mar 2019
Opening Night | Thursday 7 Mar, 6pm–8pm
I am a fan – actors and celebrities are the objects of my desire.
I thought you’d never ask surrenders to the realm of fandom, questioning and contemplating the desire to be with our idols, to be them, to possess what they possess, and to be included in their world.
Leonardo DiCaprio functions as my muse.
Embodying his character from The Beach, his internal dialogue is subtitled (and directive) atop my own footage, constructing a film which allows our worlds to finally become one. A melancholic love story, but ultimately one of loneliness and loss.
Fetishising him as Jack Dawson in Titanic, desire and possession entangle, resulting in a face-to-face rhythmic thrust.
I use footage sourced from films and television mixed with my own to create new videos and installations. Isolating moments; repeating them, slowing them down, speeding them up, bringing awareness to their power and cliché. I celebrate and also question the pleasure of consuming by disrupting the structure of a feature-length film.
Balancing that understanding of the fake within film, however still wanting to be seduced by its promise time and time again, my work considers the power of the copy in its myriads of representations and projections.
Melbourne based artist Tess Landells uses video, text and performance to negotiate the tensions between reality and screen culture. Through an earnest and honest embodiment of herself as ‘the fan’, her work mines historic and contemporary Hollywood archives for tropes and motifs. She looks to not just what it means to view another on the screen, but the broader effect this gazing has on culture as whole. The desire and obsession for idols is symbolic of a deeper discussion about power dynamics of possession and surrender. Tess is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the VCA.
IMAGE | Tess Landells, You Hope and You Dream, 2018, film still | Tess Landells, installation view, 2018 | Tess Landells, Open Your Eyes, 2018, film still | Courtesy the artist.