1 January 1990

Review: World View (1989)


Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, Sydney.
August 16-September 10, 1989.
...In Gallery Two a young artist, Michael Hutak is showing World View, which consists of a 20-minute video plus several photographs taken from it. These photos have been enlarged via colour photocopies and applied to canvas.
Hutak's footage from such sources as Hollywood religious epics, crime and spy movies, and even an interview with the Pop artist, Andy Warhol, is spliced together, and then recombined, using a sound track often at variance with the images.
This results in an amusing, terrifying or enigmatic juxtaposition.
One scene of a plane on fire and crashing towards the ground is repeated obsessively, giving it a nightmarish quality. Asked if his work was a comment on postmodernism, Hutak said: "It's bubble-gum postmodernism. Lots of postmodernism is about overload and the death of meaning. I want the images to look definitive but escape a definitive meaning at the same time." The work is powerful, and, although slogans emblazoned on it appear to provide the images with a superficial didacticism, on closer examination the idea of a straight forward interpretation fades and the signs make a slippery escape.
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Publication date: 24-8-1989

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