Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr, aka Perez Hilton, had his first child on 16 February this year, appropriately named Mario Armando Lavandeira III—the mother a surrogate, the conception facilitated with a donor egg.
Cloning, copying, reproduction, redemption.
Gossip, someone says, is the production of something from nothing. A kind of Warhol-infused neo-Faustian bargain. A dialogue with the devil—aesthetics ‘n’ ethics. A schematic backdrop to mundanity.
Sue Dodd’s Best of: a survey of Gossip Pop, presented ever so briefly at Techno Park Studios, was a Mike Kelley-Day-is-Done-esque (minus the absurd narrative) immersive installation, which transformed the once kindergarden into a kind of lo-fi-sci-fi video-file den. Seductive and silly, the ambitious three-room installation presented several new satirical video works alongside a Gossip Pop compilation. At times droll and occasionally sardonic, Dodd’s performed and animated New Weekly (or is it Women’s Weekly?) chants an absurdist yes or no response to a series of speculative rumors—the slippery pages of the gossip mag become Beckettesque in a Quad kind of repetitive way—the outcome unimportant while the pattern is prolific, the irrelevancy of the question Is it true? existentially revealed.
Amongst the humorous and self-reflective multi-channel-but-on-a-telly-not-projected installation, backdropped and furnished with faux-silver-forms-cum-stage-props, a kind of melancholic void pervades—Gossip Pop may perform on the empty stage surrounded by her looped-video ghosts. Dave Hickey suggests Warhol wants us to be redeemed by representation. Dodd repurposes the voices of digital deities whom we consume, digest, passively accept and occasionally ignore. Twelve dead musicians: Kurt, Janis, Jimmy Hendrix, Morrison, Michael Hutchence, Winehouse, Nico, Karen Carpenter, Bon Scott, Freddy Mercury, Sid Vicious and Brian Jones, resuscitated, re-animated, brought back to life on a vertical flat screen, just managing to declare in a catechistic whisper—
Sue Dodd, Best of: a survey of Gossip Pop, Techno Park Studios, Melbourne, 23 March – 14 April 2013.