Peter Callas - Vinculum

Exhibition: 7 August to 7 September, 2002

Peter Callas

Renowned Australian artist Peter Callas has worked in electronic and digital media for over two decades. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Gallery of Australia. He has had individual screenings of his work at the ICA in London (1990), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1989) and the Berlin Film Festival (1988), and his videos have been broadcast frequently on television stations worldwide. This, his first exhibition at Stills Gallery from August 7 to September 7, 2002 will feature panoramic photographic images conceived during a recent four-month stay in India as an Asialink artist-in-residence.

The word vinculum (from the Latin word vincire meaning 'to bind') refers to a connecting medium, bond or tie. In this work Callas has utilised and explored the potentials of the most recent forms of imaging software, designed to join digital photographs that have been shot in sequence - commonly referred to as 'stitching' programs.

Callas was struck by the calligraphic effect of the jagged edges and curved lines that result from digital stitching. He chose to work with the edge artifacts as deliberate elements in the final images. They signpost the distortion inherent in each work - up to 26 sequential in-camera images were used in some works. These distortions would normally be cropped out to create a rectangular frame conforming to traditional artistic practice from pre-Renaissance times, thus normalising the appearance of an image that has sometimes undergone extreme distortion. The works in Vinculum remind the viewer that photography is a graphic and symbolic representation of reality. One cannot trust the 'moment in time' depicted in these panoramas - taken as they were over several intervals and worked on at a later date to create one panoramic vinculum.