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Ms&Mr: XEROX MISSIVE 1977/2011

AGNSW contemporary project

Ms&Mr XEROX  MISSIVE 1977/2011, production image. Courtesy of the artists

Collaborative duo Ms&Mr present a mesmerising new work for the AGNSW Contemporary Projects series that blends reality with fiction. Using this ambiguity as a starting point, their multi-channel video installation XEROX MISSIVE 1977/2011 reflects on the nature of time and the potential of archives as catalysts for generating alternate versions of history.

XEROX MISSIVE 1977/2011 fabricates a dialogue between the late, infamous science fiction author Philip K Dick and his one-time muse and fifth wife Tessa. The work uses fragments of sound and footage appropriated from a speech Dick made in 1977 and a subsequent interview, which have been manipulated and combined with extracts from a recent interview with Tessa conducted by the artists at her home in California.

On various occasions and most vividly while he and Tessa were associated, Dick claimed to have witnessed paranormal phenomena – moments when his life and the imaginary worlds of his novels coincided. XEROX MISSIVE 1977/2011 explores this notion of multiple intersecting realities. Through the characters’ implausible and uncanny exchange, the artists collapse moments across time and space, framing the screen-world of the artwork as an alternative reality that is pervaded by considerations of death, paranoia, faith and confusion.

XEROX MISSIVE 1977/2011 continues Ms&Mr’s process of intervening in accounts of the past by reworking home-movies, childhood drawings and other residual traces. While the artists have used this process extensively to modify records of their own histories, recently they have begun augmenting material sourced from beyond their personal archives.

As the collaborative entity Ms&Mr, artists Stephanie and Richard nova Milne have exhibited nationally and internationally since 2003. In 2005 they were awarded the prestigious Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship, enabling residencies in New York, Toronto and Paris. Their work is held in collections including the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou, France.

AGNSW Contemporary Projects supported by Andrew Cameron

Contemporary art with UBS

On view
8 Dec 2011 – 5 Feb 2012
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney


Media contact

Claire Martin
Tel 02 9225 1734
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