Artwork Details


colour, island, landscape, loop, ship, video

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Cont Ship 1

ArtistClinton Watkins
Production Date2003
Mediumsingle channel video, standard definition (SD), 4:3, colour, stereo sound
Size27min 56sec
DepartmentNew Zealand Art
Accession Date11 Feb 2005
Accession NoC2004/1/34
Credit LineChartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2004

Chartwell Notes

"In his videos Cont Ship #1 (2005) and Cont Ship #2 (2006) Watkins depicts ocean-going cargo vessels crossing Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour from a side-view that flattens their vast hulls into slabs of intense colour and oversized text. As the crafts slide noiselessly by, they split the screen into horizontal bands of air, metal and water that suggest a vast flag, or a maritime Ellsworth Kelly. When fore and aft are both out of frame, the function of what we see becomes briefly unfathomable, and the ships’ identifying inscriptions are fractured into so much code. The lack of discernible human movement only adds to the abstracted feel. In Noir #1 and #2 (both 2008), figuration is disrupted not only by selective framing but also by the interpolation of visual noise. Here, Watkins subjects appropriated video clips to digital processing that collapses their original coherence into a cryptic stutter. Fragments of faces appear and begin to move, only to be frozen and sliced into flickering strips, or to have their speech interrupted by sounds borrowed from modern classical and electro-acoustic music."
Michael Wilson, from Frieze article on Clinton Watkins featuring Cont Ship 1
"Clinton Watkins." Frieze Issue 126 October 2009


Other works by this artist in the Collection