Sydney Contemporary, 12 – 15 September 2019
Amos Gebhardt’s works have a cinematic scale, using techniques of collage, dance, slow motion and time lapse to frame large scale, multi-screen video installations and photographs that examine intersections between culture, nature and the body. Gebhardt is interested in mapping both human and non-human narratives.
Night Horse examines the powerful currents between horses as they negotiate consent and desire during mating season. The viewer is drawn inside the kinetic swirl of the herd where hooves, flicking tails, and outstretched limbs offer an intimate encounter across the species divide. Shot in the heat of a February summer’s night, on the artist’s birthday, the charged atmosphere is palpable. Modern equine reproduction is now often a supervised insemination process, or between a mare and stallion who are performing on cue. Night Horse captures a rarely seen ritualised courtship, where the protagonists experience heightened states of being ‘for themselves’.
Gebhardt says, “The images are raw, showing the mess of body fluids and muscle, giving vivid dimensions to the physical language of the body as an archive of story, to suggest a dramatic arc in horse terms.”
The image titles – Midnight, Fetlock, Halo, Parallax, Zenith, Umbra – evoke the night, the horse, or the universe, interweaving the anatomical with the universal, the body with the stars. In observing these complex dynamics, Night Horse challenges the dominant anthropocentric view, capturing the undeniable force of non-human narratives.
Night Horse (2019) continues themes explored in Gebhardt’s recent video installations Lovers (2018) and Evanescence (2018), both selected for the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, and There Are No Others (2016) presented at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. They thread a trajectory of connected ideas concerning nakedness as the barest form of identity, deep time cycles of matter – life, death, decay.
Amos Gebhardt is the 2019 recipient of inaugural Adelaide Studios Artist Residency, presented by the South Australian Film Corporation and Adelaide Studios in partnership with SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival, and the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art.
A recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship (2014) and Masters graduate of AFTRS, Gebhardt’s work has been exhibited at M+ Museum, Hong Kong; ACMI, Melbourne; MONA, Hobart; Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne and screened on SBS and ABC. Gebhardt created visuals for Kate Miller-Heidke’s 2016 Helpmann Award-winning concert with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at MOFO. Gebhardt directed Second Unit on Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth (2015), starring Marion Cotillard premiering in competition at Cannes Film Festival.
ARTIST TALK: Amos Gebhardt presents a Writing & Concepts lecture for Talk Contemporary, 4.30pm Sunday 15 September at Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks.