David Rosetzky responded to the experience of members of the LGBTQIA+ community who live, work or study within the city of Monash. The diversity of their experiences is brought to bear in their honest and open conversations directed by Rosetzky.
The new series comprises a 2 channel video installation and 6 double exposure photographs. The video installation is a cinematic exploration that draws upon Rosetzky's practice of long-form video narratives with a clear shift towards a more social documentary approach in response to the Portrait of Monash commission's brief. The video work was shot using a device that utilises mirrors to allow the sitters to see Rosetzky as he guides the conversation.
This shift in approach from Rosetzky is partially due to a change in the way he has created this work. His previous approach was to interview people and then respond to their narratives, creating a performance that utilises professional actors and performers. Here he has altered his approach to make this work by filming subjects telling their stores in a documentary context. Rosetzky undertook multiple interviews with his subjects over a period of four months before he commenced filming.
Each participant is shown both within their home undertaking daily actions, giving a raw, intimate insight into their lives, interspersed with them talking direct to camera as they speak about their experiences. Their honestly and openness as they speak about the challenges they have faced, especially across cultures and religious beliefs, provides insights into experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community that are often not represented. The subjects’ dis-empowerment and inability to be their authentic selves is replicated across their shared experiences. Rosetzky’s subjects speak of being treated as outsiders and often ostracized. They speak of hiding or denying their sexuality due to the lack of acceptance from the broader community.
The video installation is viewed in a site specific video room, with the undulating walls of the Harry Seidler designed gallery softening the space, wrapping around the viewer. Six intimate photographic portraits are shown on the entrance walls to the video room. They are portraits of the individuals featured in the film, apart from one participant who only wanted to have a still image of them presented. These works continue Rosetzky's exploration of double exposures; combining controlled analogue in-camera photographic processes with an active element of chance. This embedding of chance into the process of portrait making reflects the nature of identity as multi-faced, complex and shifting. It is a masterful play between photographic process, light and chance. The resulting portraits are intimate and effortless studies of the sitters that speak to the power of the photographic medium.
from the series Being ourselves
gelatin silver print
58.5 x 44.5 cm
collection of the artist
courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery (Melbourne)