The numerous couples that anchor David Rosetzky’s new video work (heart) forever are essentially one and the same. Though they may be of different ages, genders and ethnicities, they enact the same role in the same narrative thread.
They are in effect substituted; seamlessly cut in and out of a single strand of highly aestheticised contexts, scenes and settings. A predefined trope – a romantic day trip to the Yarra Valley – is ever so gently, ever so stylishly, destabilised and deconstructed.
“The activities appear continuous, however individual ‘characters’ are never really established as such, as they are forever being replaced anew,” explains Melbourne-based Rosetzky, whose celebrated 2007 video work Nothing like this is showing at ACCA as part of the current Mortality exhibition.
“Ideas of the Cartesian unified self is given no space to evolve,” he continues. “Rather a series of cuts and edits constantly interchange the protagonists and present the subject in flux and ever-proliferating.” As with much of Rosetzky’s work, (heart) forever – which he began to develop after several trips to the Yarra Valley, where he first exhibited this piece in a group show at Tarra Warra Museum of Art earlier this year – is entrenched in questions of authenticity.
“A lot of my works explore the fracturing effects that global lifestyle culture can have on contemporary subjectivity and how inter-personal anxieties manifest as a result of a highly individualised and consumer focused culture,” says Rosetzky, widely known for his video portrait of Cate Blanchett. “Identity is shown as a shifting conglomerate of stories and images that seldom, if ever form a complete picture.”
For Rosetzky, who has often used voice-overs to question the seemingly idyllic imagery of high-end advertising aesthetics, (heart) forever marks a shift in device.
“It really extends the same interests,” he offers. “However rather than voice-overs providing the rupture and questioning of image and identity, this video uses editing techniques to explore the cracks and schisms within our subjectivity.”
(heart) Forever shows at Sutton Gallery from this Thursday until December 18.