Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 26 Spring 2010 Contents GETTING A HEAD
The National Portrait Gallery prompts us
to look at portraiture in the digital age.
Surely digital technology must be having
an impact on traditional portraiture? That
was the question posed by the Present Tense
exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
in Canberra. As curator Michael Desmond
explains: “The digital revolution has altered
how portraits are made and what a portrait
might be. The exhibition explored how new
ways of imaging reflected the individual in
this digital world and the mechanisms of
imaging that are used.”
For example, video enables artists, such
as Petrina Hicks, to convey identity as her
camera slowly pans around a young girl’s
face, providing us with unfettered access
to every blemish. The static nature of her
face is contrasted to the wisp of smoke that
suggests the ineffable, perhaps “... a poetic
contrast between the mapped surface and
the unseen interior”, suggests Michael.
As part of its permanent collection,
the NPG is also showing a recently
commissioned work by Petrina Hicks of
surfer Layne Beachley and a multimedia
portrait of Cate Blanchett by David Rosetzky.
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra,
(02) 6102 7000, portrait.gov.au .
Petrina Hicks, Ghost in the Shell, 2008.
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