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The Real Thing, photo courtesy the artist The Real Thing, photo courtesy the artist
When you peer into a kaleidoscope, into the mirrored surfaces on which tiny fragments of coloured glass spark and rattle, and raise the toy against the light, you don’t expect to see yourself. But in Sydney artist Jordana Maisie’s The RealThing, that’s what you get, the real you, captured by video and fragmented by soft and hardware magic into an infinite number of glorious mandalas.

Significantly Maisie’s work is on a human scale. The large screen facing you is contained in a deep circle of thin, bright metal, a camera hanging discreetly just above. Your actions become experimental as soon as you realise that the patterning on the vivid screen is evolving at the same rate as your own movement. You adjust relative to the camera. You discover that you can position hands, face, torso, objects with astonishing results, as surreal, temporary still lives or slow, lyrical dances.

Instead of the way you’d hold a kaleidoscope, in the Real Thing it’s the way you hold yourself, and far more interesting than, say, the fairground’s distorting mirrors. Here, Jordana Maisie the maker turns us into co-maker and subject at once. But it’s no mere narcissistic delight, because there’s no coherent mirroring of the self. Rather, we’re offered the perverse pleasure of dissolving and rearranging ourselves.
To see The Real Thing and to read about Jordana Maisie (she has a Masters Degree of Digital Media from Sydney’s College of Fine Arts and studied photography at the Glasgow School of Art) and forthcoming shows and collaborations, go to Studio.

Jordana Maisie, The Real Thing, sculpture, interactive video installation, Black & Blue Gallery,
Sydney, Aug 29-Sept 14;

RealTime issue #87 Oct-Nov 2008 pg. 33

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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