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Tracey Moffatt

Australian photographer and filmmaker. After graduating from Queensland College of Art, Brisbane (1982), she moved to Sydney, later dividing her time between Sydney and New York. Moffat began her career as an experimental filmmaker and as a producer of music videos, and she continued making films after establishing herself as a photographer. Her concern with power relations is demonstrated in the series Scarred for Life (nine offset lithographs, 1994), which juxtapose photographs of children with text, mimicking the layout of Life magazine during the 1960s. Useless, 1974 (1994; priv. col., see B. Reinhardt, ed., p. 21), shows a young girl cleaning a car in a suburban setting; the text beneath reads ‘Her father's nickname for her was “useless.”’ In the late 1990s she focused on the relationship between Australian Aborigines and white colonial settlers. The highly atmospheric series Laudanum (19 photo-engravings, 1998; Frankfurt, L. A. Gal.) shows the relationship between a woman and her aboriginal servant. Based on Pauline Reage's erotic novel Story of O (1954), it presents two actors posing in a variety of locations around a large house, suggesting sexual and power relations laced with narcotic hysteria. The use of photogravure and deliberately flawed prints heightens the ambience, informed by late 19th century photography as well as by Expressionist Cinematic techniques of shadow and distortion. The typically dreamlike quality of these works creates a space in which actors can embody wider sexual and social conflicts. (8/14)

A film collaboration between Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg, 1999, 10 min., Color

Internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt takes the viewer on a fast-paced journey through Hollywood's depiction of the arti...

A film by Tracey Moffatt, 1993, 90 min., Color

BEDEVIL is the stunning debut feature from Tracey Moffatt (NIGHT CRIES, NICE COLORED GIRLS) and the first feature directed by an Australian Aboriginal...

A film by Tracey Moffatt, 1997, 28 min., Color

This playful video from famed director and photographer Tracey Moffatt turns the tables on traditional representations of desire to examine the power ...

A film collaboration between Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg, 1999, 10 min., Color

It is Hollywood’s favorite role for black women: the maid. Sassy or sweet, snickeringly attentive or flippantly dismissive, the performers who play t...

A film collaboration between Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg, 2003, 21 min., Color/BW

“The clinch that signals the fade-out in so many movies is just the beginning of Love, as Moffatt and editor Hillberg turn their energetic montage tec...

Nice Colored Girls
A film by Tracey Moffatt, 1987, 16 min., Color

This stylistically daring film audaciously explores the history of exploitation between white men and Aboriginal women, juxtaposing the “first encount...

Night Cries
A film by Tracey Moffatt, 1990, 19 min., Color

On an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. The adopted daughter’s attentive gestures ...

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