Deakin University

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posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by David CrossDavid Cross
In this exhibition things are extended further by acts of mediation, as Cross presents a video entitled Tactual (2013) pairing the different vantage points of the teams in the “Powerslide” game/performance/action. Tactual I use all three terms as the artist is capitalizing upon the slippage occurring between a game that advertised for participants both through art channels and those of local sporting clubs. The game is at once artwork, and a competitive event but both the context and observer’s point-of-view can wholly alter the terms framing its reading. Orange and green on the exterior, dark and shadowy in its interior, players inside seek to pull on straps to disorient and dislodge individual members of the other team, who attempt to run across its surface in order to score a point by diving into a peculiar orifice, sliding onto the ground, and dashing to tag the next “attacking” runner. An eroticized, arty playfulness meets the rougher, high performance tactics akin to those of rugby or football matches, as teams participate in a game that appears at once as mystifyingly oblique as viscerally engaged. also extrapolates upon Cross’ own interests in competition, both as a pastime, and as a field of research, Tactual an entry point into a certain zone of endeavour often interpreted as masculine, dominant, and characterized by its certitude about positioning the subject. He takes great pains (sometimes literally) to interrogate these concerns in his performances and performance/installations. The Christchurch project provided an optimal test setting for such research. Who is the observer/observed? Participant/spectator? What are the controls in a game that wilfully plays with any absolute conventions of rules, tasks, and hierarchies? As the competitors needed only be reasonably healthy and at least ten years old, this enabled a range of demographic permutations. In addition to those of the scheduled teams, the opportunity was made available for impromptu games as well.



Margaret Lawrence Gallery, VCA, University of Melbourne

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Creation date


Material type

art original



Publication classification

J2.1 Minor original creative work


Dual Projection Video Art Work

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