Archie Barry, Sean Lowry
28 Aug–14 Sep 2019
These ideas were channelled through the persona ‘Fisti’, a bright pink superhuman who sleeps in a t-shirt, wears frilly socks and speaks in drum rolls and English. Filmed within a 12-hour period, Fistimuff was a condensation of time and a particular personal message: that to be human is to be complicated and mutable.
Stylistically, the work was reminiscent of a music video, and was accompanied by a genre-blending soundscape featuring spoken words about embodiment as a shifting experience. Concerned with creating an immersive sensory environment, the work turned everyday landscapes into scenes of agency.
The newest piece in Barry’s cyclic working methodology, Fistimuff featured re-constituted and further developed audio elements from Tatsache (2017), itself a videographic expansion of ideas around duplicity and presence first explored in the live performance work Hypnic (2017).
Fistimuff was a Channels Festival commission co-curated by Kelli Alred and Laura Couttie.
Lead Artist and Composer: Archie Barry
Sound Design and Production: Sean Lowry
Cameraperson: Emmett Aldred
Fistimuff was a captivating video portrait by Archie Barry, commissioned by Channels Festival in partnership with BLINDSIDE, that explored the fluid nature of personality and eroded the linguistic and visual constructs that govern identity politics.
This program takes place on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded - this land is stolen land. We pay respects to Wurundjeri Elders, past, present and emerging, to the Elders from other communities and to any other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders who might encounter or participate in the program.
Archie Barry is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work converges language and bodily gestures within a self-portraiture practice. By curating ontological spaces between what is and what can be, Barry envisages alternate possibilities for the ever-evolving architectures of personhood. Barry graduated with a Masters of Contemporary Art from the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) in 2017. They have exhibited work at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Buxton Contemporary, the State Library of Victoria, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Artspace and ALASKA Projects. Barry's solo performance projects have been staged at the the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Artspace, the Meat Markets, Neon Parc and the State Library of Victoria.
Sean LowryDr Sean Lowry is a Melbourne-based visual artist, writer, curator and musician. He holds a PhD in Visual Arts from the University of Sydney and is currently Head of Critical and Theoretical Studies in Art at Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. Lowry’s conceptually driven artistic practice employs strategies of concealment, subliminal quotation, erasure, remediation and intermedial expansion to explore the outermost limits of the world of a work of art. He has exhibited and performed extensively both nationally and internationally, and his writing appears in numerous journals and edited volumes. He is also Founder and Executive Director of global blind peer reviewed exhibition program Project Anywhere—which is currently supported as part of a partnership between the Centre of Visual Art (University of Melbourne) and Parsons Fine Art (Parsons School of Design, The New School). Lowry is also one half (with Ilmar Taimre) of the radically intermedial artistic curatorial initiative The Ghosts of Nothing.