first formulation of Fluorescent is a 3-screen
synchronized DVD with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, commissioned by the
Art Gallery of New South Wales' Contemporary Art Projects in 2004.
Taking the hyperbolic performative aspects of the narcissistic video-clip,
this gallery presentation creates a mega-widescreen stage from which
the audience is centred and bombarded. Imagery and music swirl and
rotate according to the clip’s
performer emblazoned across a central screen in hyper-saturated neon
Devised by Philip Brophy, this ‘mock’ video-clip is part
of the larger Fluorescent music project which pays
homage to the androgynous, multi-sexual Glam aesthetic which has
typified much of Brophy’s musical interests and critical writing (such
You Die Before I Get Old - catalogue essay for
the exhibition Hype, 1988, & Pale
Glitter – Fat Sound - catalogue essay for
the exhibition None More Blacker, 2001). In Brophy’s thesis, Glam
is the shining black hole of Rock’n’Roll’s grotesque
theatricality, just as it is the sharp momentary glint of Pop’s
processing. Glam has naught to do with the rarified aversions to classicism
which birthed the intelligentsia’s best-known smears – ‘camp’
and ‘kitsch’. Glam works well beyond those stale binaries
of pure/impure, high/low, original/copy, etc. In the Fluorescent realm,
everything is presented as tensile, self-invented, volatile, restless.
In this first Fluorescent video, Brophy invents
himself as a luridly reconstituted being vibrating with Glam’s essential
fakeness and plasticity. His performance portrays a transmogrified sexual
monster, roaming and strutting a videosonic platform, energized by a
pulsating ‘fat’ sound, and seething with a hunger for the
bright, the shiny and the loud.
Concept & direction: Philip Brophy
Costume: Sophie Poole
Make-up: Emma Simon
Camera: Cassandra Tytler
Production assistance: David Haberfeld, Engel Schmidl
Stills photography: Robin Lea
Music production & performance: Philip Brophy
Recorded & mixed @ Gelatin.
Thanks to RMIT Media Arts
“Fluorescent” © Philip Brophy
Published by Rubber Music & Sony/ATM Music Publishing.
Special thanks to Natasha Bullock & Wayne Tunnicliffe @ Art Gallery
of New South Wales.
Stereo CD of audio only presented as part of 21:21:21, Salamanca Art Centre, Hobart
Stereo CD of audio only presented as part of 21:100:100, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
Institute of Modern Art,Brisbane
Singapore Biennale, Singapore
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney