letter written in response to letters recieved from the curators, and from the Office for Film and Literature Classification by the journal Photofile, after the Burning the Interface review (at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1996)
LETTER TO PHOTOFILE
from Linda Wallace
My argument is with the fact that Cyberflesh Girlmonster (CG), in an otherwise excellent show at the MCA, could only be viewed by those over 18 years old -- an outcome I wouldn't call "more than generous" at all. I wouldn't have been impressed if I was sixteen. A warning similar to that on the CDROM on the gallery wall would have been sufficient. It is also not to be forgotten that locking-off the work interrupted the potential flow of viewing, as described in my review.
Australian youth live within the complexities of accelerated gender/role change, relentless televisual screen violence, and everyday micro-violences. I believe CG posits an attitude which is life affirming, anti-violence and anti-drug use -- by telling it as the artist sees it.
Furthermore, rarely do today's techno-literate youth have a chance to experience a computer interactive by an Australian woman of the sophistication of CG. The work also has a particular cross-cultural resonance, and is shown internationally without restriction.
As a work of art CG displays an elegance of intertextual play, rich and surreal images, and a constant ambiguity of the modes and possessors of power.
I recall seeing a group of noisy teenage schoolgirls who, in the right place at the right time, slipped through the arbitrators' net at the AGNSW to gain valuable insights on life via the cyberflesh of Dement's artwork. I'd like to see Cyberflesh Girlmonster distributed to every school in Australia.