Paging Mr Hitchcock | 2017
John Conomos is a Sydney-based artist, critic and writer who is an Associate Professor and Honorary Principal Fellow at the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne. With a focus on the ‘in-between’ spaces, contexts and links between contemporary art, cinema, critical theory, and literature, he had been internationally exhibiting his autobiographically inflected art since the 80s. A prolific critic and writer he has contributed to many academic conferences, symposia, and forums around the world, many in collaboration with Professor Brad Buckley. In 2016 he collaborated with Steven Ball on Deep Water Web, for Furtherfield Gallery, London.
As an artist and writer of over 30 years, my work is principally ekphrastic in nature as I believe that art and writing is a dialogue with the past for the present and future. In the words of the poet Rilke, the artist is ‘a bearer of cultural memory.’ Consequently, art and writing that does not seek to account for the ideological power of one’s official culture is, for me, strictly decorative in essence. Whether it is video, new media, performance, directoral photography, installation, or radio art, much of it contains complex traces of the autobiographical anchored in one’s childhood and the biographical trajectory of one’s life.
Radio Neon | 2015
Walter Benjamin, between 1927 and 1933, wrote and produced close to 80 works for the new medium of radio. Theodor Adorno once described the mesmerising and explosive quality of Benjamin’s writings as ‘radioactive.’ This work continues my abiding interest in radiophonic art, including cinema. Some years back in Paris, at the Jewish Museum, amidst an unforgettable exhibition of Benjamin’s almost microscopic manuscripts, was a rare video screening of Ernst Bloch, Gersholm Scholem, and George Steiner discussing Benjamin’s works and legacy