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Peter Callas: Bilderbuch für Ernst Will

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


26 May to 2 July 1995

about the exhibition

Peter Callas, an internationally recognised Australian video artist, described this work as 'an electronic rendering of a form of proto-televisual iconomania: the creation of haphazardly sourced private pictorial scrap books or bilderbuch.’

The original Ernst Will’s Picture Book, from which the images of Callas’ work derive, was compiled anonymously from mass-produced images (portraits, battle scenes, voyages of explorations, animals) in war-torn Vienna and found by Callas in a second-hand shop. Through his use of this source material, Callas continued his exploration of 'technology as territory’, looking at how myths and histories are generated through evolving relationships between the private and public spheres – in this case drawing upon the relationship between an anonymous European picture-book bricoleur and a plethora of mass-produced images of places, events and people.