Representations of diversity: Ritual + Monument
Multi-screen time-lapse animations
Kris Smith MFA is a lecturer in digital photomedia, and is co-ordinator of this discipline within the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has recently been based at SMARTlab researching art and health synergies with a focus on digital methods for self-expression.
He will be presenting previews of two video works currently in progress, and will briefly speak about the methods used to create and present them.
Cultural well-being: celebrating and embracing diversity:
Rituals and monuments are two fundamental ways of publicly bringing in to focus aspects of a culture in ways that attempt to be accessible to current and future generations. In the case of a repeated live event or ritual, as well as in the physically permanent sculptural or painted object, an ongoing interpretation of the event or object is often needed in order for its original meaning and context to be communicated to a new audience.
The works ‘Ritual’ and ‘Monument’ refer to representations of cultural diversity that are both excessive and controversial in their own way. Portraying and celebrating diversity can often bring into relief the challenges inherent in embracing cultural differences. The word ‘cultural’ in this instance is used in the broadest sense: it refers not only to ‘cross-cultural’, but also to ‘music culture’, ‘youth culture’ etc. In ‘Ritual’ the tension associated with the event is for me physically expressed in the materials that provide a backdrop for the photographs.
In ‘Monument’ sculptures are documented using time-lapse techniques, and therefore changing qualities of light and temporal aspects dominate the work presented. However the original precinct containing the subject matter that has been photographed attempts to portray as many aspects as possible of the diverse culture in which it is found.
In summary, the time-lapse animations are meditations on what it means to be a part of a constantly changing and diverse culture.