At the most recent exhibition opening I attended at Mori gallery, I was simply jarred in awe. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen art that has moved me beyond, “oh, that’s clever/pretty!” or just “ooooh!” (and then forgetting about it quite swiftly within the next few days). Nearly two weeks on, the work of one Hayley Rose Hill is still as fresh in my mind as if I were standing in front of the triple screen projection that is, Photographs of two people who could do anything with their lives (2010). An arresting translation of mediums, from photography to video, and back to photography again; it is a work that must be experienced before you can even begin to grasp its poignant agency. In most (art) circles, it’s hinted that explorations of ideas such as ‘memory’, ‘identity’ and ‘the self’ in contemporary art practice are the equivalent of milk that smells a bit funky; a bit past their use-by dates perhaps. So it certainly speaks volumes about Hill’s insight, in that she’s able to not only explore the subject matter of past, present and future selves with fresh eyes, but to concurrently critique the nature of photography itself as being an instrument of self-reflection and maybe even self-maintenance.
In the back room of the gallery, a quaint television plays Two Young Men on the Threshold of Great Achievement (2009). Equally breathtaking and thought-provoking, this video expresses great hopes, massive failures and the potential for success. The two young men featured are well cast in their roles as underdogs and conduits of possibility; keepers of the secret to self-actualisation.
An exhibition of video work not to be missed. Make sure Mori Gallery is worked into your schedule within the next two weeks. You won’t be sorry, but you may be moved beyond words.
Hayley Rose Hill
168 Day Street, Sydney
13 October – 6 November 2010
Wednesday – Saturdays, 11am – 6pm