28 March - 5 May 2018

Curated by Lucie McIntosh


Phebe Schmidt

This image series is informed by my recent work Your Time, which explored selfhood and how we try to fit into a messy and complex world. We flip between feeling in touch with our “real” self to a sense of failure and alienation. As we struggle to understand ourselves various constructed “characters” or “selves” materialise.

Extra connects to issues of selfhood. An extra in a movie is a silent character that merges into the background or crowd scene, to contribute in some minor way to a main narrative. These “extras” play a part in creating a sense of realism or authenticity in the fictional world of film.

From another perspective, extra can refer to a form of behaviour that is excessive and overly dramatic. This “extra” plays in stark contrast to the movie extra, and is often framed as something undesirable.

Extra, the work is heavily stylised and occupies an imaginary space that does not exist in a specific place or time. This Extra is ephemeral, fragmentary and ultimately disposable. 

Phebe Schmidt is a Melbourne-based photographer who investigates ideas about self, constructed and imagined, through fictional characters’ absurdist roleplaying intermeshed with decontexualised objects.  Through this experimentation she seeks to understand contemporary anxieties associated with authenticity and methods of “fitting in” that can exacerbate an emotionally charged alienation from self. Schmidt has exhibited in both solo and group shows nationally and internationally.

Images: Phebe Schmidt, Extra, 2017,  HD video, 1:59 min looped