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25 Sep 2010

James Newitt at rosalux, Berlin

James Newitt: If They Fall


September 25 through October 9
Wed-Sat 3-6 pm


rosalux at Story Hotel*****
Wriezener Straße 12
13359 Berlin-Wedding

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rosalux is presenting the second solo show by the Australian artist James Newitt in Berlin.

Within this exhibition, Newitt presents a new body of work including the premiere screening of his new video from which the exhibition takes its title, If They Fall. This exhibition is a continuation of Newitt's exploration of the forestry industry in Tasmania. In 2009 Newitt premiered the video Passive Aggressive at rosalux as part of his exhibition Stories of Celebration and Dissent. If They Fall expands on this work but probing deeper into the complexities and contradicting ideologies of communities who are affected by the Tasmanian forestry industry. Newitt focuses his camera on people involved in both activism and industry, to present an intimate portrait of two communities who remain in conflict.

If They Fall is the main work of the exhibition. The video, accompanied by photographic prints, draws a thread through industry and environment – connecting different actions and social behaviours through prolonged observation as well as facilitated performance. If They Fall was filmed over a 4-month period in early 2010, and the video is an exploration of the passing of time, as much as it is a project of environmental and sociological research. Newitt worked with sound artist Pat Beretta to develop a haunting soundtrack to accompany the powerful imagery.

Genuine is a series of photographic portraits presented alongside If They Fall. In making this work, Newitt turned the camera on himself, documenting changes in his appearance and personality during the making of If They Fall. Genuine uses images of the artist himself to confront notions of identity. The work seeks to question the strategies of social engagement used by artists who develop work across different communities.

James Newitt was born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1981. His exhibition history includes: Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2010; In The Balance: Art for a Changing World, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2010; Stories of Celebration and Dissent, Rosalux: Berlin based art office, Berlin, 2009; The Moorilla Scholarship exhibition, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, 2009; Handle With Care, 2008 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; I notice these little things, how they change, Monash University Faculty Gallery, Melbourne, 2008; Ten Days on the Island, Hobart, 2007; Eternal Beautiful Now, Sherman Galleries, Sydney 2007; and the Next Wave Festival, Melbourne, 2006.

James has received state and national funding grants for individual and collaborative projects. In 2008 he undertook a 3-month studio residency at the Australia Council for the Arts, Los Angeles studio. In 2009 he was awarded the Qantas Foundation, Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award and in 2006 the Tasmanian Artist Prize for the City of Devonport, Art Prize. James lectures in visual communication at the University of Tasmania, School of Art.