small medium large
Nick Austin, Miranda Parkes, Lee Devenish
13 January - 23 February 2005
small medium large refers to nothing but length. Nick’s is short, a minute and a half. Miranda’s is longer, 3 minutes and Lee’s is large, 9 and a half. All in it clocks at around 16 minutes worth of new video work. It seemed like it’d be fun to get video work from people who didn’t really make video. I remember the first time I asked Nick, he said he didn’t do video. Actually lots of people I asked said this, as though it’s a tired, lame, worn medium. So I hope we don’t see a death of video anytime soon, especially now with all this digital swap over (come to think of it Nick didn’t even film on video and regretted having to swap formats - he called it telefunkenised - which had a kind of ominous satirical ring to it). But anyway, Nick’s film is untitled. It’s a one take shot and it’s nice. It has a little rustling, a palm tree and four fingers doing digit waving plus some external sound. It’s like a slice of life, very methodical and very whimsical but also sincere too. Nick called it a ditty - and I know what he means, but he doesn’t want it to catch on. Such appraisal could infect his other work and then all we’d think he does is ditties and that’d be a shame because that’s not it at all. Miranda’s film is called Video Painting. It’s a shot of an underpass with some reflection from the river. It’s quite beautiful, really mesmerizing. Miranda has lots of this kind of thing just lying around. This video work was just an outtake from some film she had kept putting off watching. It had been lying around for a year or so now which I think is probably the point. This sort of subject matter is always just lying around waiting to be discovered, most of the time it’s easy enough to find, especially when Miranda’s always going to such effort to frame it for us. I think that’s why she takes so many photos. She gets through something like two films a week, she calls it her drawing but it could be something else - and with this video it sure is. Lee’s film’s great, it’s called Survivor: Planet Earth. I kept joking around about Lee being free mainly because that’s such a great song but then he kinda did a film like that. Well not really, but the whole survivor rhetoric is just fantastic. It’s pretty simple, but that’s what so good about it. Lee gets to vote whoever he doesn’t like off planet earth. Couple that with a nice brick back drop, bad film, dirty video heads (which gives it a real grainy weathered frontier taste), also add a real nice gas lamp, a bare chest and a wizened, withered Lee kicking people off the planet, and it’s already a recipe for success. But it just gets better when you realise Lee’s added a god dam rocket ship into the survivor icon because that’s obviously what they'll have to fly away in. It’s all very funny, and kind of amusing. Especially the first name basis which leads to a lot of innuendo. Also I should mention the music which Lee scored himself and fits the bill entirely - but that folks you’ll have to hear for yrself.
So I hope you all get a chance to see the videos. They’ll be around for a few weeks, 6 I think. Screening continuously on loop in Christchurch’s very own Kiosk I’m sure they’ll surprise you, hell I’ve enjoyed every minute of them. They really have been fantastic videos and for that I must thank the artists.
- Hamish Win