Runa Islam @ MCA, Sydney

Posted: 13/10/2010 in ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures, Uncategorized

Runa Islam is a British artist (born in Bangladesh, 1970) who explores the nature of cinema and its conventions through installations and videoart in which 16mm film is projected on walls or suspended screens. But her work is also a reflection on the nature of viewership: as we walk through the gallery, we are exercising our mobilized virtual gaze, as we inhabit an space in which screens are still, but the spectator (us) is moving, dwelling a shared space with the artifact. The exhibition also puts the spectator in contact with film projectors, a machine that I assume many people have not seen. In the midst of today’s digitized media environment, projectors hold an almost nostalgic aura. When I attended the exhibition last Sunday, it was fascinating to see a little girl hypnotised by the projector and asking her dad what it was and how it worked. He didn’t know what to answer: although widely used in the cinema industry, 16mm projectors are now al old, retro object. Just a generation ago, they were widely used to show family footage.

Anyway, Islam´s work is currently being shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Circular Quay, Sydney. It is free. I totally recommend it.

  1. VJ says:

    Reminds me of an installation I saw at the Museu Berardo in Lisbon… it was part of an exhibition on Amalia Rodrigues and Fado… three at least six feet high hearts made entirely out of plastic forks, spoons and knives… one yellow, one red and one black… all hung from the ceiling slowly and silently spinning on their axes, while Amalia’s voice filled the air… nice little piece!

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