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SCAN 2003

Linda Erceg

Jeff Khan

Linda Erceg, from PunchLine, 2003 Linda Erceg, from PunchLine, 2003
Hovering somewhere between the urban myths of our collective cultural imaginary and our most private desires and experiences, Linda Erceg’s multimedia narratives splice reconfigured gaming engines, internet porn aesthetics and digitally generated ‘characters’ with dirty jokes, sex confessions and tales of debauched bachelor-party escapades. Naked virtual bodies go one-on-one with viewers, who are somewhat diminished in scale by the enormous cocks, breasts and jiggling nipples which tease, invite and thrust at them, while a pulsing musical score provides a rhythmic, visceral counterpoint to the on-screen shenanigans. Erceg’s increasingly confronting screen-based installations often place the viewer in an extraordinarily intimate space of engagement with the work. Skin Club 2002 features naked, computer-generated characters regaling individual viewers with stories of sexual escapades, reprimanding them if they fidget or walk away from the viewing space.

Punch Line, exhibited this year in the Australian Centre for Photography’s Staring in the Dark exhibition, featured solo sexual performances from a number of characters underscored by a throbbing, repetitive electronic soundtrack and polyphonic recollections of dirty jokes and sex stories. The stories are at once wildly exaggerated and uncannily familiar, a tension echoed in the repetitive, mechanical yet strangely organic quality of Erceg’s animated figures. This schism echoes the simultaneous liminality and extreme banality of a modern sexuality, which is increasingly the product of a fast-paced, competitive technologically oriented culture. In a world where guilt-free satisfaction, or perhaps a simulated surrogate for sex, is only a URL away, with no inconvenient interaction, emotion, consequences or afterglow involved, Erceg’s work provides a means to consider how technology amplifies, distorts and attenuates our desires, leaving the viewer to ponder the meaning/aftermath of their encounter, after the screen goes blank.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 9

© Jeff Khan; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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