Like it or not, the wide range of reality TV shows that embrace musical performance are here to stay. The variations on this theme are broad; ranging from real bands such as INXS recruiting a new singer to the various versions of the Idol series which molds itself to each country it enters. Yet what all these shows share is the simple premise that the emotional content of an original song is easily transferred via a ‘wanna be’ performer.
Fiona Gillmore’s video works investigate what happens when the emotional posturing of pop music collides with performance in art making. She unravels the ‘authentic’ voice of a musician and questions whether this can be copied to retain real emotion in art. In Gillmore’s One Hour Janice (2007) she mimes a performance by singer Janice Joplin again and again. As the artist says: ‘I wanted to see if after doing so many takes of the song I could recreate the faked emotion in myself, and at what point it actually becomes authentic’.
Auckland artist Patrick Lundberg’s delicately cut wall based works hone our attention to overlooked details in an exhibition space. His marks travel the peripheries of the wall highlighting areas that might normally be vacant space in an exhibition, such as the small area surrounding a power socket. He carves circles beside a simple doorstopper on the skirting, accentuating its presence within the surrounding architecture. The way these works are created directly in the wall also signals his interest in art that only exists for the duration of an exhibition.
Lundberg says, ‘we can count the hours until the work is gone. As such it exists as an ephemeral experience, to be experienced like fireworks or any other potent temporal event’.