Violent Light, Agenda Sydney // 21 February 2011

Polish your cultural halo this Friday night by dipping into the sunlight-infused film works that make up Sean Rafferty’s Violent Light.

Housed at the arthouse Chauvel Cinema in Paddington, Rafferty’s convention-defying mix of cinema and fiendish light trickery replaces the traditional movie screen with a cardboard canvas, and experiments with sunlight, cinema projections, landscape and memory. The cinema-and-gallery installation is a one-night-only production, and it’s also a cheap date – that is, admission is free, so bring your struggling artist friends.

The five-minute film focuses on an outdoor cinema screen over the course of a day. As the day fades into night, darkness brings with it a film within a film – or as Rafferty puts it, a “junk-film montage” made from projectionists’ clippings. Rafferty says it’s “an artwork about cinema and optics, memory and the ‘physicality’ of light. It is about landscape, its representation, and its residual effect – how we project things onto the landscape and it projects things onto us.” Who are we to argue?

Armed with a drink from the mezzanine bar, absorb the inspirations behind, offshoots of and by-products of Violent Light before heading into Cinema 2, where the short film will be shown.

As the week fades into the weekend, there aren’t many better ways to kick Friday night into action – beer in hand, surrounded by new art in the old grandeur of the Chauvel.

Or, read my piece in today’s Agenda here.

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