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Matinaze '97

Sydney Intermedia Network (SIN) will present its seventh annual survey of Australian screen art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, April 5-12. In addition to the regular film and video component, this year’s Matinaze will also include a multimedia exhibition of interactive CD-ROMs and a forum/presentation by three highly acclaimed new media artists.

SIN, formerly the Sydney Super 8 Film Group, has been promoting the innovative use of film, video and new media since 1990. Matinaze, a major showcase for experimental film and video, has continued in the tradition of the earlier organisation’s hugely popular annual Super 8 film festivals which began in 1980.

The film and video program (screening Saturday April 5, repeated Saturday April 12) now comprises work produced on a variety of formats including U-Matic, SP Betacam, 16mm, and computer animation. Highlights include John Tonkin’s man ascending, Merilyn Fairskye’s Plane Torque, Paul Winkler’s controversial Time Out for Sport, and Miriam Stirling’s take on Peter Greenaway, titled Wednesday, 11th May, at 1pm.

SIN’s newly appointed director, Alessio Cavallaro, is especially pleased that Matinaze ’97 will provide the Australian premieres of CD-ROMs by Megan Heyward and Sally Pryor, and the Sydney premiere of Norie Neumark’s interactive. “These are impressive works, and particularly interesting in that sound design is a major element in each of the productions”, said Cavallaro.

The three artists will demonstrate and discuss aesthetic and technical aspects of their work at a forum on Sunday April 6. Heyward’s I am a Singer explores notions of memory, culture and identity. The interactive’s user assists a pop star with amnesia to reconstruct her identity through media reports, diaries, anecdote and dream. Pryor’s Postcard from Tunis, a rich audiovisual collage that reflects the artist’s impressions of Tunisian culture, is essentially about inscriptions: ancient and contemporary Tunisian scripts and drawings as inscribed through the computer interface. Both CD-ROMs were featured in the New Talent Pavilion at Milia, the major European multimedia exhibition held in Cannes earlier this year. Neumark’s Shock in the Ear is a sound-centred interactive of “shock aesthetics” which describes deep and abrupt physical, psychic and cultural change. The gallery installation version of Shock in the Ear, with multiple computer screens and “sense sites”, will open at Artspace, Sydney, on April 17.

A week-long interactive multimedia exhibition in the foyer area of the AGNSW’s Domain Theatre will include recent works by Bronwyn Coupe, Ross Franks, Janet Merewether and Lloyd Sharp, as well as Neumark’s and Pryor’s CD-ROMs.

Events such as Matinaze are vital for the continuation of a vigorous screen culture. Internationally renowned Australian video artist Peter Callas—who was on the event’s selection panel with interdisciplinary media artist Nola Farman and screen culture commentator Annemarie Jonson—noted that “it’s very important to have survey exhibitions like Matinaze on a regular basis…to see what other people are making in a non-competitive context”. Alessio Cavallaro explained that Matinaze, like other SIN activities, is about cultivating the talent and profile of both emerging and established independent screen practitioners, and developing broader audiences for their work nationally and internationally. He emphasised that these and other activities by related screen culture organisations will be severely affected if certain funding recommendations contained in the Gonski Report are adopted. Celebrate innovative Australian screen art at Matinaze ’97-’98 might be too late.

Sydney Intermedia Network’s Matinaze ’97, April 5-12, Domain Theatre, level 1, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

RealTime issue #18 April-May 1997 pg. 25

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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