Secret Cat Business

Included in Three Imaginary Boys, the current group show at Neon Parc is Cats (above), a recent video by Charlie Sofo that also features in the current Anne Landa Award exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Sofo is a collector.  He wanders the streets of Melbourne accumulating objects – like little rocks he picks out of his shoe.  These are presented on the floor at Neon Park beneath a Perspex case as artefacts of his travels.

Charlie Sofo, 'Objects found in my shoe, March to May 2011', rock, metal, seeds, acrylic 46 x 51 x 21 cm, 2011

Sofo also collects moving images.  In this instance, of cats in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.  The video’s premise is simple, it’s a series of quick, uniform cuts, in which the artist zeros in on unassuming felines one by one, interrupting them as they go about their secret cat business.  The work’s very funny, strangely voyeuristic and wonderfully rhythmic too, with the clack of the camera’s quickly executed zoom syncopating each cut.

We live in the age of YouTube, where clips of cats jumping into boxes receive thousands of hits a day.  Sofo’s video plays with these amateur trends yet also transcends them.  Cats is part of the wandering artist’s much bigger project.  Quietly and tenderly he finds patterns in the everyday, accumulating collections of things that all too often go unnoticed.

Three Imaginary Boys, Neon Parc, 1/53 Bourke Street, Melbourne, until July 9th.

Secret Cat Business

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