Alex Monteith: Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep

  • ©2006, , Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep
  • ©2006, , Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep
  • ©2006, , Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep
  • https://isea2008.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/807/

Filmmaker, Video Artist, or Animator(s):


Title:


    Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep

Symposium:


Venue(s):


Creation Year:

    2006

Medium:


    Four channel video, sound

Duration:


    18 minutes

Art Event Overview:


    Alex Monteith’s Composition for farmer… tweaks an archetype of agrarian New Zealand, so often described as a nation of 40 million sheep and 4 million people. In the crisp air of a Taranaki farm, Lloyd Bishop, a champion New Zealand dog triallist, expertly choreographs three dogs and 120 sheep across the viewfinders of Monteith’s four simultaneously recording video cameras.  The once-primetime television staple of sheepdog trialling, where farmers and their dogs compete to usher a mob of sheep through a course and into a pen in record time, becomes in Monteith’s video installation a pattern of animal and human bodies. There is nostalgia for an imagined rustic innocence, contradicted by the muddy specificity and the fantastic pointlessness of this choreography. Formally, the work draws a relationship between the rigid framing of the camera lens and the pegged arenas the sheep move between.  This work evokes nationalist, multi-screen hymns like This is New Zealand, a celebration of culture and landscape that screened at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka.


Additional Images:

  • 2008 Monteith Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep
  • Image of "Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep", previously shown in 2006, from the catalogue


Category: