David Rosetzky’s acclaimed video portrait of Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett was commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra in 2008.
It is showing 11 October – 25 November 2012 as part of OURSELVES, a major international survey exhibition at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
Filmed within the set design workshop of the Sydney Theatre Company, the actress slowly moves in to focus in a choreographed sequence, beginning with deft hand gestures and concluding with a lighthearted dance routine. Meanwhile, in a voice-over she muses about her performance roles, public personas and self-identity. Rosetzky initially interviewed the actress and created an edited script that she read and recorded, however the artist does not attempt to reveal the true identity of the actress. Instead, consistent with the more anonymous subjects in his other works, he suggests that identity is fluid and constructed, always dependent on others.
“I knew I didn’t want to present the portrait as a definitive representation of Cate Blanchett – but rather an exploration of shifting identities and inter-changeability. The location of the Sydney Theatre Company workshop where they make all of their sets — added to this idea as it represents a site of construction and potential.”
Portrait of Cate Blanchett, 2008
high definition digital video, 9:56 min choreography by Lucy Guerin, sound design and composition by J David Franzke
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Commissioned with funds provided