The Australian filmmaker and artist Tracey Moffatt is a star of the international art scene. A glance at Moffatt's work reveals a work of great suggestiveness and pictorial intelligence.
All of Moffatt's works have the serial character in common. Viewed individually, individual pictures look like film stills. The series as a whole are reminiscent of photo-novels based on "screenplays" that the viewer is only able to reconstruct to some extent. For the gaps and inconsistencies in the transition from one picture to another are too obvious. And yet the individual series are held together by a "tension" and "narrative arc", which is based on a uniform atmospheric grounding of the sequences of pictures.
For each series, Moffatt develops a new, highly artificial and self-reflexive visual language, saturated with references to cinematic genres and to the history of film and photography. In the series "Invocations" from 2000, a reference to paintings of mythical pictorial power, such as those created by Goya or the Symbolists at the turn of the century, is also evident.
The 1999 series "Scarred for Life II" occupies a special position: The thin paper, the graphic appearance, the faded colors, and above all the relationship between text and image are reminiscent of reportages in the "Life" magazines of the 1960s. The subject of this "reportage" is the traumatizing experiences of petty bourgeois education in that time.
The references to film and art history on the one hand and to the aesthetics of the mass media and advertising on the other hand, which are more or less clearly woven into the images, trigger a déjà vu effect in the viewer, making access to Moffatt's art attractive. Only gradually does one come to the realization that beneath the seductive, sensual-emotional surface, stories of escape fantasies, exclusion, hatred, and violence are "transported" subliminally.