Tracey Moffatt

Art, Photography
Tracey Moffatt 1998 Laudanum 13 from the Laudanum series image courtesy Art Gallery of NSW and © Tracey Moffatt
Tracey Moffatt ‘Laudanum 13’, 1998 (cropped image).

Dip into the world of Australia's leading photomedia artist in this exhibition of key works from the Art Gallery of NSW collection

Sex, power, race, cinema – this exhibition showcases photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt's preoccupations with these themes, through four works spanning from 1998 to 2009: photoseries Laudanum (1998) and Plantation (2009), and montage films Love (2003) and Other (2009).

Laundanum and Plantation are both set in colonial contexts and charged with racial tension. The former, comprised of 19 stills using the 19th century technique of 'photogravure' (an etching process using copperplate), depicts the relationship between a housekeeper and servant, with imagery inspired by F.W. Murnau's 1922 film Nosferatu and Joseph Losey's 1963 film The Servant, and Pauline Réage’s sado-masochistic 1954 novella The Story of O.

Plantation, comprised of 12 diptychs of colour photographs printed on handmade paper, depicts a menacing scenario involving a dark man and a colonial-style plantation, in a tropical setting. In her pastiche of cinematic images, Moffatt tips her hat to Mandingo (1975), The Grass Is Singing (1984) and Cape Fear (1991), among other films.

Moffatt's film montages Love and Other, meanwhile, show two sides of the relationship coin via pastiches of Hollywood cinema: heterosexual relationships, and queer and interracial relationships.

Moffatt has been selected to represent Australia at the 2017 Venice Biennale, the sole artist exhibiting at the Australian Pavilion in the Giardini, in an exhibition curated by Natalie King.

In other words: it's worth getting across her oeuvre!