On October 9, 1997, Dia Center for the Arts will open an exhibition of the work of Australian photographer and filmmaker, Tracey Moffatt. This exhibition, entitled Free-falling, will be on view on the fourth floor of Dia's galleries at 548 West 22nd Street, New York City, until June 14, 1998. Dia is open to the public Thursday through Sunday 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Free-falling will include two newly commissioned works: a suite of twenty-five photographs called Up in the Sky (1996) and a video installation, Moffatt's first in this medium. The subject of this video piece will be a surfer, a figure close to the heart of Australia's contemporary self-image. By contrast, Up in the Sky, which was shot near Broken Hill in the Outback, draws on imagery and a landscape that have long been central to the Australian mythos. In addition, the exhibition will include Guapa (Goodlooking), a series of twelve monochrome photographs loosely based on the theme of the roller derby, which Moffatt made in 1995 while on a residency at ArtPace in San Antonio, and Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1990), her early but prophetic short film. Guapa explores the intersection of violence with eroticism as sanctioned under the umbrella of sport. Silhouetted against neutral backdrops, the carefully choreographed female contestants create formally compelling images recalling at times sculptural groupings from the art of the past: artifice is as intrinsic to this sport as it is to Moffatt's aesthetic.
Of Aboriginal descent, Moffatt has gained increasing international attention in the past several years. In 1995 she was awarded a prize at the Kwangju Biennale in Korea, and two of her films were shown at the Cannes Film Festival. Given that she is also included in this year's Venice Biennale and Site Santa Fe exhibitions, Moffatt, who was born in 1960 in Brisbane, is among the preeminent Australian artists of her generation. Free-falling will be her most substantial exhibition to date.
Major funding for this exhibition has been provided by the Lannan Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Embassy of Australia on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and The Australia Council for the Arts with an additional generous contribution by the Wolfensohn Family Foundation.
Dia Center for the Arts is a tax-exempt charitable organization. Established in 1974, the organization has become one of the largest in the United States dedicated to contemporary art and contemporary culture. In fulfilling this commitment, Dia sustains diverse programming in poetry, visual arts, education, and critical discourse and debate.
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