John Conomos

Leftquote Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it. Rightquote
Miro on The Beach, 2014

Several years ago, the artist visited Barcelona’s Joan Miro Museum, where he encountered a series of black and white photographs of Miro standing on a beach writing with a stick in the sand. Miro On the Beach is a major performance video shot with a Red Epic camera and a movie crane and it depicts the artist writing the expression ‘camera stylio’ into the sand of a local Sydney beach. The stick he is actually using is an ancient Greek shepherd’s crook (custom made). The expression itself refers to Alexandre Astruc’s famous 1948 prophetic view of a new personal author’s cinema merging in the context of the French New Wave. The video exemplifies the distinctive tropes of the essay film and directly alludes to its shaping influence on the artist’s imagination and oeuvre.

Miro On the Beach also features a voiceover where not only is Astruc’s authorial model of cinema discussed but the artist’s post-war Greek Australian migrant background and the overall importance of his exilic imagination since his childhood in a milk-bar in Tempe in the 1950s. It is a video that embodies essential questions of post-colonialism, migrancy, Western representation, spectatorship, memory, space and time. Again, like in the video The Absent Sea, the artist is delineating in Miro On the Beach the intricate links between art, cinema, (post) modernism, the sea, late-capitalism, and the historical avant-garde.


Cinematographer: Josh Raymond
Crane operator: Alex Morrison
Camera Assistant: Joshua Heath
Grips: Robin Hearfield and Quinn Cretney-Ross