Bianca Barling

Bridget Currie

Bianca Barling, still from I wanna drown in an ocean full of love...

Bianca Barling, still from I wanna drown in an ocean full of love…

Bianca Barling is a recent graduate of the South Australian School of Art. Practising in a hybrid arena of video, installation, photography and performance, her work is remarkable for its lush production values and sentimental aesthetics. Barling’s work has always had an uneasy edge, not quite pure irony, although it is ironic with a lot of depth hiding in its sexy, gloss surface. Maybe it’s about being sentimental in a deep way, or perhaps believing in a situation that has an old script. And a lot of it is about love. Barling’s solo-produced short film, I’ve never walked out of a movie before (2002) made less use of narrative than her earlier collaborative Modern Love Collective works and relied instead on quite still camera shots with strong references to 1940s filmic codes and history. Seductive colour, sadness and retro kitsch pervade the atmosphere. Barling continuously plays with tropes of the stage, building tension between the real, the performed and the recorded performance/image. Her newest work I wanna drown in an ocean full of love…, shown in the CACSA Project Space in 2003, plays tricks with the strange mediation of the camera. A video work played on a monitor inside an elaborate box set. The video performer lay still within the set, which we could peer into through peepholes and windows. This tangled layering of real and constructed characters, places and scenarios is typical of Barling’s work, as is its carefully detailed romance.

Bianca Barling recently received a Helpmann Academy Mentorship, to work with new media artist Francesca Da Rimini.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 11

© Bridget Currie; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 2003
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