Sean O’Keeffe is a multi-disciplinary artist who works across a range of media including video, painting and site-specific sculpture. His time-based works reference both formal cinematic history and the history of time-based moving images. His works are concomitant with the act of constant self-documentation and external surveillance. Sean’s work often presents multiple perspectives of the same events, occasionally even distorting a real moment to fit a more subjective memory. Sean’s works was featured in Electro fringe and The Blake Prize. His video work was a finalist in the 2021 Blake Prize and was a Highly Commended finalist in the Blake 2002. Work was also acquired by The ACMI in 2004. He also sculptural installations including the now iconic ‘Bench which is still installed permanently in Broken Hill. As a filmmaker, Sean has worked extensively with young people teaching and producing many award-winning films.
On a personal level ‘The Nothing’ explores the artist’s own relationship with the people and locations of Kandos and Cementa over time, dating from the first festival in 2013. But ‘The Nothing’ also reacts to a pervasive feeling of undoing, as exemplified by writer Michael Ende in his book The Never-ending Story. As an ongoing series of catastrophic events impact the community, from fire to COVID, the community, like the wider world around it, struggles to adjust to this undoing, this growing emergence of the nothing.
Sean’s works may be single or multi-channel and often depict a scene or event from multiple views. His most recognised work explores real life moments or events that have been recorded through patient observation of people and situations. This interest in Le moment decisive might align him with the practices of early realist photography and he employs practices that are common to the observational documentary style and Cinéma Vérité.