Documenting an exhibition at Dia by Tracey Moffatt, Free-Falling, October 9, 1997–June 14, 1998. Contents: Preface by Michael Govan; Only Angels Have Wings by Isaac Julien with Mark Nash; A Photo-Filmic Odyssey by Lynne Cooke; and Dust by Sam Shepard.
Free-falling includes two newly commissioned works: a suite of twenty-five photographs called Up in the Sky (1996) and a video installation, Moffatt's first in this medium. The subject of this video piece is a surfer, a figure close to the heart of Australia's contemporary self-image. By contrast, Up in the Sky, which was shot near Broken Hill in the Outback, draws on imagery and a landscape that have long been central to the Australian mythos. In addition, the exhibition will include Guapa (Goodlooking), a series of twelve monochrome photographs loosely based on the theme of the roller derby, which Moffatt made in 1995 while on a residency at ArtPace in San Antonio, and Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1990), her early but prophetic short film. Guapa explores the intersection of violence with eroticism as sanctioned under the umbrella of sport. Silhouetted against neutral backdrops, the carefully choreographed female contestants create formally compelling images recalling at times sculptural groupings from the art of the past: artifice is as intrinsic to this sport as it is to Moffatt's aesthetic.