Past Residencies

Hayden Fowler
September – October, 2004



Fowler's video work White Cock features a pristine white rooster standing upon an ornate perch amongst a lavish gold and aqua set. He crows intermittently, flaps his wings and puffs out his chest in seeming self importance. Interestingly, although the rich setting signals privilege and prestige, in this context it also denotes a certain captivity. After all, it is a gold chain that secures the rooster to its perch, impeding his flight. Ever attentive to the sculptural properties of his work, Fowler has the work projected within an elaborate gold frame complete with florid gold speaker fittings. Recalling the rotating images of a pokie machine or mechanised billboard, the footage periodically slides in and out of the frame, accompanied by the sound of electronic blips. Fowler developed this work immediately after five months of travel through Latin America. As a response, White Cock operates on one level as an exquisite refrain on the relationship between 'white' culture and the third world. But it also produces an affective power, which delivers it beyond this metaphorical dimension. The unique live presence of the bird ignites the work, as well as the apparent reverence that the artist bestows upon it.

Dominique Angelero