Gunilla Josephson (Sweden/Canada)
Video as an art medium is untainted by ‘old masters’ and is to a great extent separated from the fantasy industry. Video [from analog to dv/hd] is a medium that straddles the official art world, the entertainment industry and the bumbling disclosures of the amateur. It is difficult to own, to control, to co-opt. It is fundamentally subversive and as such it is life-affirming. It insists on true revelation and true beauty.
My art practice originates in vintage super 8 film projections on drawings, large-scale paintings, and sculpture using wax, felt and latex. For the past 15 years I have worked primarily with video and its installation. My focus ranges across experimental historical narratives, constructed personal mythologies, and the modes of portraiture. My video installations often include props from the productions, which extends the work into the viewer’s space.
When shooting video and later in the editing process I work in a way that exploits unbridled emotions, with the aim to challenge the accepted conventions of art as an entertainment that is well behaved. From the actions of the characters [or performers] to my own use of the video camera and later in the editing process I aim to disrupt norms, constructing resistances to, or commenting on the tyranny of orthodoxy.
For the last few years my video work directs itself towards the portrait, or more accurately, to modes of portrayal, and how narrative personae are constructed and critiqued. My past works have dealt with the image of the female actress, the glamour close-up, the war heroine, and the Madonna figure. I am interested in challenging the authority of the ‘well-behaved portrait’ and its ideologies, as a continuum in my art practice throughout which I repudiate and rethink signifiers and symbols of power and authority. I have worked with the same people for many years; performers, musicians, crew members and editors and I listen to and appreciate the group’s input to the work being created.