The first formulation of Fluorescent is a 3-screen synchronized DVD with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, commissioned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales' Contemporary Art Projects in 2004. Taking the hyperbolic performative aspects of the narcissistic video-clip, this gallery presentation creates a mega-widescreen stage from which the audience is centred and bombarded. Imagery and music swirl and rotate according to the clip’s performer emblazoned across a central screen in hyper-saturated neon colouring.
Devised by Philip Brophy, this ‘mock’ video-clip is part of the larger Fluorescent music project which pays homage to the androgynous, multi-sexual Glam aesthetic which has typified much of Brophy’s musical interests and critical writing (such as Hope You Die Before I Get Old - catalogue essay for the exhibition Hype, 1988, & Pale Glitter – Fat Sound - catalogue essay for the exhibition None More Blacker, 2001). In Brophy’s thesis, Glam is the shining black hole of Rock’n’Roll’s grotesque theatricality, just as it is the sharp momentary glint of Pop’s processing. Glam has naught to do with the rarified aversions to classicism which birthed the intelligentsia’s best-known smears – ‘camp’ and ‘kitsch’. Glam works well beyond those stale binaries of pure/impure, high/low, original/copy, etc. In the Fluorescent realm, everything is presented as tensile, self-invented, volatile, restless.
In this first Fluorescent video, Brophy invents himself as a luridly reconstituted being vibrating with Glam’s essential fakeness and plasticity. His performance portrays a transmogrified sexual monster, roaming and strutting a videosonic platform, energized by a pulsating ‘fat’ sound, and seething with a hunger for the bright, the shiny and the loud.
Concept & direction: Philip Brophy
Costume: Sophie Poole
Make-up: Emma Simon
Camera: Cassandra Tytler
Production assistance: David Haberfeld, Engel Schmidl
Stills photography: Robin Lea
Music production & performance: Philip Brophy
Recorded & mixed @ Gelatin.
Thanks to RMIT Media Arts
“Fluorescent” © Philip Brophy
Published by Rubber Music & Sony/ATM Music Publishing.