Joyce Campbell

Flightdream

24 September – 24 October 2015

This Monster first approached me through a dream. I was the monster, or so it seemed. I was flying as one flies through the air in a dream. I did not know I was under water… And then I saw myself.

Unseen, it may be accurate to call the Monster beautiful. Full of the beauty of nakedness so secret it
might as well be dead. It has no arms, no legs. It extends a nervous system into pure volume. A sensory flowering, delimning the currents as they stream deep through the frigid hydrosphere.

Mark von Schlegell (USA/Germany).

Flightdream is a twenty-five minute video inspired by the short story Flugtraum by science fiction novelist Mark von Schlegell (USA/Germany). Flugtraum charts the journey of a nameless protagonist as he plummets in a bathyscaphe into the ocean’s depths, searching for a monstrous creature and his own certain erasure in a climactic, illuminated instant of consumption. The short story was originally written in response to images from Campbell’s 2003 – 2011 Marianas series of photographs, and the video is in turn an abstraction motivated by the story’s narrative arc. The monster’s attributes reflect Campbell’s fascination with formlessness, morphogenesis and the emergence of complex form and conscious perception out of simple matter. In the video, which draws on conventions associated with structuralist and experimental film, sculptural objects are subjected to a corrosive process of electrochemical dispersal, causing colloidal sheets and webs to drift, collide, entangle and tear apart. The work is accompanied by a soundscape composed by experimental guitarist Peter Kolovos (USA).

Joyce Campbell is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland Elam School of Fine Arts. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand and internationally, including the Incheon international Women’s Biennale, Incheon, Korea. In 2006 she was awarded the Antarctic Fellowship with her work being included in an exhibition Antarctica, with Anne Noble and Connie Samaras at Pitzer College, Claremont CA, USA. Recent solo exhibitions include Te Taniwha/Crown Coach at Pitzer College Art Galleries in Claremont, CA (2012). Her most recent exhibition at Two Rooms was To the Wash in 2014. Flightdream will also be shown during November 2015 at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, as part of an exhibition The Alchemists: Rediscovering Photography in the Age of the Jpeg, curated by Suzanne Buljan, Cherine Fahd & Dr. Martyn Jolly.