Dominic Redfern – Parameter

Words – Jerram Wurlod

Photos – Andy Donohoe

Conical, 3 Rochester Street, Fitzroy until July 14th.

It was my first visit to Conical Gallery on Rochester St in Fitzroy last Friday and it defiantly ranks high on the obscure hard to find gallery list. Maybe its just me being a bit too cocky about knowing where I’m going or the two pints I downed beforehand but my Google maps glance didn’t serve me well. After circling around Johnson and Gore (or was it Gordon?) for a little while, my pals pov-pod (cheap smartphone) came to the rescue and the telltale mingling of people at the small entrance was cause for relief. Despite arriving only half an hour before the exhibition closed there was still a buzz in the air amongst the punters. The dimly lit space, necessary of course for projection art and strategic placement of the screens all added to deeply intimate and immersive experience.

In and out of focus, unnerving but engrossing Redfern has taken a highly detailed look at natural formations that the naked eye would have trouble viewing. Nor would many bother to take the time to examine anything this closely. But it’s because of this that I found this exhibition so engrossing. As the detailed image tracked across the screen the focus pulls away, sometimes for a while other times only briefly. It all really worked to draw me in and made me consider the way, almost without exception, moving images are used every day in the opposite way to capture our attention. Bombarding us with faster more complex moving images in increasingly desperate attempts to capture our attention (yes, I’m talking to you Mr Harvey). Only it no longer works for me and I’d wager many others. I find myself avoiding the TV, ignoring that flashing open sign in the window, quickly clicking on my preferred destination when an annoying banner ad flashes on my web browser. It was incredibly refreshing to see moving image presented like it has been by Redfern.

Weather it was intentional or simply due to the small space there was a level of interactivity in the projections as it was almost impossible not to create silhouettes with ones head or maybe a leg or two. For me it added an extra dimension, detail, softness and my mug or that woman’s leg. Intense detail, pulling out of focus, pulling back again to my helmet hair, it all added to the brilliantly immersive experience. Then again maybe I’m just in love with my own silhouette (is that a thing?). So instead of sitting down for your favourite show in-between eyeball assaulting (or insulting) advertising do your eyes a favour and head down to Conical. The exhibition runs until July 14th.

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