Strip Sequence 1. 2017
Strip Sequence 1
My current body of work focuses in and around the building and street where I have been living and working over the last 12 years, in downtown Dunedin. The subject is simple but celebrates a more obscure landscape, familiar only to me. My practice is often concerned with finding beauty in the odd or strange.
My entry this year has 2 components. Thematically, it is a continuation of the work produced whilst living and working in Berlin over 4 months in 2016. I captured the moving image on my return to New Zealand late 2016, finishing the painting and editing the moving image component in June 2017.
In Berlin last year I looked at the idiosyncratic, kitsch vibe that Berliners give to their pubs, Kneipe or Ecke as they are called. They are typically quite trashy but always visually interesting, making for something of a cultural experience. Generally blue collar with the patrons not speaking much English, one has to rely on speaking German to have any sort of conversation with a local Berliner.
On my return to Dunedin I wanted to paint something provincial in a similar vein, deciding that a strip club couldn’t get much more kitsch or trashy. Especially an empty, essentially quite desolate scene but yet painted in an attractive way with colour and composition. It has also been decades since I have painted an interior so thought this might be overdue as a subject.
The moving image component contrasts the absence or presence of humanity. It is undeniably a loaded image but the actual projected strip routine exhibits a certain grace and beauty in the act that cannot be ignored. However, we always associate this dance with the male gaze and its inherent sexism. The soundtrack, Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker Suite is of course a double intendre but it also belies an innocence. Playing through a music box it is reminiscent of a simple child’s toy, with the edited slow motion spin around the pole evocative of the ballerina inside the box.
There is also a second cut of the video which shows the strip routine in its entirety but only playing on every 6th cycle. This alludes to the commissioned ‘alternative’ nude of European bourgeois society, meant only for private viewing, Goya’s La Maja Vestida and La Maja Denuda being a clear example.
The title also refers to the moving image work ‘Storm Sequence’ by the Australian artist Shaun Gladwell.
The artwork as a whole attempts a Lynchian aesthetic with a strangely dark fascinating beauty.
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.
From Dunedin New Zealand, Foley exhibits internationally, with works placed in a number of public and private collections. Over the last decade he has been a regular visitor to Europe, basing himself between Dunedin and Berlin, exhibiting throughout Europe and Scandinavia. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Arts Trust Award which included a 4 month residency at the cultural centre Altes Spital in Solothurn Switzerland. 'Most recently, moving image and how the two mediums of painting and digital projection can be combined in to a singular medium has been a focus. Creating ‘moving image paintings’ which shift and change, using light and texture in a complex way, a simulacrum of a simulacrum which still retains the integrity of time and place. It moves with inci