Receding Plane is a new video work by Wellington based artist and Associate Professor at Massey University, David Cross.
The work continues the artist's exploration into self-presentation, self-portraiture and performance with particular reference to how the body interferes in the logic of the monochromatic canvas.
The artist's eyes appear through a slot in a large orange monochromatic canvas staring directly at the camera. The abject qualities of his eyes serve to muddy the pristine and seamless features of the canvas creating a compellingly discordant relationship.
Importantly, this relationship begins to shift over time as the eyes become increasingly uncomfortable from staring at the camera. This slow unfolding of the body's sense of order and control, creates a narrative tension that might be described as grotesque.
The collision of the real (the body) and the protean artificial (the monochrome) in this work locates Receding Plane within a tradition of practice that challenges our understanding of beauty and ugliness. The work concludes with a final scene that radically recasts our initial experience.
A remarkable denouement takes place that unties in surprising ways the Gordian knot. The monochrome is revealed in a completely new light as the actual setting of the work is finally unveiled for the audience to see. This landscape challenges all of our previous assumptions introducing a whimsical dimension to the work.
David Cross Biography:
David Cross was born in 1968 in Melbourne, Australia where he initially studied art history at Monash University. After working as an art critic and writer for a number of years he turned to making art in 1994. Throughout the 90s he produced a number of performance based projects including Viscous that was included in Perspecta 99 in Sydney and at Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, Melbourne in 2000. In late 2000 he took up a position at Massey University, Wellington and has continued to show regularly both in New Zealand and around the world. His challenging performance/installations including Bounce (Wellington City Gallery, Govett-Brewster Gallery) and Hold (Litmus Research Initiative, Blue Oyster Performance Series) function to both attract and repel audiences through their psychologically complex resonances. Cross is also a writer on contemporary art and has written extensively for magazines including World Art, Art and Text and Photofile. He has a PhD in Fine Art practice from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane and is Associate Professor in Fine Arts at Massey University.