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Grant Stevens

b. 1980

The key to Grant Stevens work is what’s left out. Through a series of videos and installations the artist has examined the interplay between text and the spoken word, looking at the complexity of context, association and montage, while leaving a space in which the viewer may bring their own interpretations. 

In early works Stevens lifted dialogue from Hollywood films and rendered the dialogue as a text. In Your More [2002] the artist appropriated dialogue from the film Taxi Driver [1976] and, while playing different samples from different parts of the film simultaneously across two screens, cast what had originally been an interior monologue into an equally hermetic dialogue. Nothing’s Changed [2004] took dialogue from Woody Allen films and, spreading the text across three screens, contrasted solipsistic statements of personal distress with jokes about philosophy and sex. 

Stevens has also created what he terms “image works” – pieces that appropriate brief sequences from films. No Sir [2003] took Jack Nicholson’s immortal reading of the line “You can’t handle truth” from A Few Good Men [1992] and created a repetitive, stuttering four screen mosaic of the actor’s face. Mr. President [2001] lifted a sequence from Independence Day [1996] depicting the destruction of the White House while Danger Zone [2003] lifted a sequence from Top Gun [1986] which, once edited into series of word–free sighs, smiles and shrugs, had Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis communicate entirely without spoken words.

Many of Stevens’s major video pieces have been with expanded video in installation settings. In Dazed and Praised [2004] text and dialogue lifted from the skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys [2001] flashed on a TV screen while a stereo placed on the other side of the room played classic heavy rock songs by Cream, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. A similar use of the expanded space of a room was crucial to the viewing of Turtle Twilight [2006] a two screen installation which featured, on one side, a woozily shifting colour-saturated image of a tropical island and, on the other side, a scrolling text about adventures in an unnamed and unlocatable paradise. The scale and the relative silence of the piece set up a new paradigm for Stevens work.  Recent pieces such as Matter [2007] – a trippy, psychedelic pattern of colours – and Really Really [2007] – a series of sentences drifting through inter-stellar space – extend the subject of Stevens’s video work away from the secular into the realms of New Age mysticism.

Andrew Frost
Birth place
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Other solo exhibitions 

Solo Exhibitions 

Horizons, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney
Burst, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth
Fazed, Starkwhite, Auckland
Wobbly, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney
Really Really, Contemporary Centre for Photography, Melbourne
No Bad Days, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
2007 Education, Education, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney
Cliché and Collusion, Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Utah, United States of America
Going Steady, Starkwhite, Auckland, New Zealand
The Switch, Il Ponte Contemporanea, Rome
New Ideas for Cake, The Block, Brisbane
Cut to the Cheese: Selected Works, Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane
The Switch, Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore
I Like Ike, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney
Like Two Ships, Elastic residence, London
When There’s Love, Metro Arts, Brisbane
Like Two Ships, Kings ARI, Melbourne
Some Want It All, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney
Dazed and Praised, Pestorius Sweeney House, Brisbane

Other group exhibitions 

Selected Group Exhibitions 

Shelf Life, Delmar Gallery, Sydney
National Artists’ Self-Portrait Prize 2011: Life is risk / Art is risk, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane
The New Arcadia, curated by Kezia Geddes, Lismore Regional Gallery
New Age: New Media, Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, Yuanboyuan Jinan International Art Exhibition Centre, Art Hangzhou Expo, Sichuan Fine Art Academy Art Gallery, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Songzhuang Art Museum (Beijing International New Media Art Exhibition), Federation Square, Melbourne, 146 Artspace, Hobart, The Art Yard, Lhasa (touring exhibition)
The New Arcadia, Lismore Regional Gallery
VideoRow, The Torrence Art Museum, Los Angeles, California
heads, Utopia Art Gallery, Sydney
Let the Healing Begin, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
Light from Light: An Exhibition of Contemporary Media Art from 2010 – 2012, National Library of China, Beijing, Hangzhou Public Library, Hangzhou, China, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane (touring exhibition)
Illuminations and bad faith, curated by Todd McMillan, Bondi Pavilion Gallery, Sydney
LOVEART: The Love Collection, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney
Big Tree Foot: The 5th OCAT International Art Residency Exhibition OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal, J & Z Gallery, Shenzhen, China
gbk @ Art Stage Singapore, Singapore
Songzhuan Art Festival (Australian) diversity, Sunshine International Art Museum, Beijing
gbk @ Melbourne Art Fair
Hobart City Art Prize, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
RBS Emerging Artist Award 2010, Sydney
gbk @ ART HK 10, Hong Kong
Kaldor Public Arts Projects ‘Move: The Exhibition’, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
In Order Out, Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne
LANGUE FROID  -  COLD LANGUAGE/COLD TONGUE, Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney
Volume II, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
gbk @ Photo Taipei, The Westin Taipei, Taiwan
QUEENSLAND ART 2009, Pestorius Sweeney House, Brisbane
Total Nowhere Emotion Expansion, Brisbane Festival.
58th Blake Prize, National Art School, Sydney (touring exhibition)
Light Sensitive Material: works from the Verghis Collection, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
Word, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney.
Some Text Missing at CAST, Hobart
New Acquisitions 2009, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Visual Dust, Parer Place Screens, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
The more you ignore me, the closer I get, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane
Lean Towards Indifference!,
Metro Arts, Brisbane
Speaking in Tongues, Nature Morte Berlin, Germany
Play, Spruill Gallery, Atlanta, USA, curated by Avantika Bawa
Artisti, Il Ponte Contemporanea, Rome
Ornament is a Crime, Gallery 1927, Los Angeles
TYPECAST, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne
The Dating Show, Institute of Modern Art @ TCB, Brisbane
GIFTED, DELL Gallery, Brisbane
AS IF THIS LAND WERE YOURS, 29025 Eveningside Dr, Los Angeles
neo goth: back in black, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane
gbk @ Melbourne Art Fair
I Want To Believe, Boxcopy Contemporary Art Space, Brisbane
Bad Brains, a little blah blah, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The Leisure Class, the Australian Cinematique, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art
Clip Art, Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney
Projekt Video Art Archive, Geraldton Regional Arts Centre, Western Australia
New Deities: the Cult of Celebrity, Devonport Regional Gallery, Tasmania
gbk @ Silvershot, Melbourne
Film Flam Canberra Contemporary Art Space
2006-2007 (touring)           
Experimenta Vanishing Point National Tour: Video Jukebox, Contemporary Artists Services Tasmania (CAST), Devonport Regional Gallery, 24 HR Art, Darwin, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Albury Library Museum
Man/Trouble, Downtown Art Space, Adelaide
Anne Landa Award, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
21st Century Modern: 2006 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art
, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (installation with Slave collective)
low, MOP, Sydney
gbk @ Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building
Flaming Youth, Orange Regional Gallery
Prime 2005: New Art From Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
BEOGRAD NEKAD I SAD, Prodajna Galerija, Beograd, Serbia
Terminus Projects, Various train station platforms, Sydney
There are no coincidences, Pestorius Sweeney House, Brisbane
GBK at Span Galleries, Melbourne
Top Ten, Gadens Lawyers, Brisbane
ARC Biennial, Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane
2004, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Octopus 5, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
Zeitgeist, Australian Centre of Photography, Sydney
Gravity, MAAP Festival, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
OK Video: The Jakarta Video Art Festival, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta
2003 Fresh Cut, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
Best of Graduates, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
Exercise, Studio 11, Brisbane
Paper Plane, Merivale St Studios, Brisbane
Watch This Space, Palace Gallery, Brisbane
Sound Altars, Brisbane Powerhouse (collaboration with Dirk Yates)
Façade, QUT Graduation Exhibition, Brisbane
Performance, Metro Arts, Brisbane
RE, Palace Gallery, Brisbane
Gene Pool, Modus Studios, Brisbane
Replay, Shop 70, Adelaide
Subtitle, Metro Arts, Brisbane
NextGen, Metro Arts, Brisbane
Backyard, Global Arts Link, Ipswich
Audio Visual, Metro Arts, Brisbane
Venture: Art and Spatial Politics, Metro Arts, Brisbane

Awards, collections 
Collections National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Artbank Artworkers, Brisbane Downlands College, Toowoomba Kaldor Art Projects: MOVE Various private collections AWARDS 2010 The International Art Residency, OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China 2009 John Coburn Award for Emerging Artists, 58th Blake Prize, National Art School, Sydney 2008 Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards, Visual Arts, (winner) Executive Dean’s Commendation for Higher Degree Reseach, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology 2007 Australia Council Studio, Los Angeles, USA 2006 Harries National Digital Art Prize, The Block QUT, Brisbane (finalist) Anne Landa Award, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 2005 The Artworkers Award, Artworkers Alliance, Queensland Harries National Digital Art Prize, The Block QUT, Brisbane (finalist) ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award, ABN AMRO Tower, Sydney (exhibited artist) 2004 Conrad Jupiters Art Prize, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Gold Coast (exhibited artist) 2003 Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), Department of Employment, Science and Technology 2002 University Medal for Academic Excellence, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Software Engineering Australia Art Prize, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 2001 New Media Art Award, Queensland University of Technology 2000 Microgrant – Millennium Youth Forum, Centenary of Federation

Selected Bibliography

Geddes, Kezia, The New Arcadia, ex. cat, Lismore Regional Gallery, 2011
Frost. Andrew. “Metro Arts: Metro Picks”, Sydney Morning Herald, August 13-19, 2010, p.12
Stuart, Robyn. “Grant Stevens: A Hallmark moment”, Das500, 2 December 2010,
McCrae, Christian, “trucking media art: total nowhere emotion expansion”, RealTime, issue #94, Dec-Jan 2009, pg. 29
Barton, Del Kathryn, Crittenden, Stephen, Frost, Andrew. The 58th Blake Prize: Exploring the religious and spiritual in art, ex. cat
Fulton, Adam. “How videos killed the paintings stars at the Blake Prize”, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September 2009, p.7
Collins, Antonette. “Blake Prize takes to video in 58th year”, The West Australian, 4 September 2009, page 7
Fulton, Adam. “Sydney artist rapt as the Blake Prize leaps digital divide”, The Age, 4 September 2009, p. 10
Kidd, Courtney, If I could have …, Australian Art Collector 2009, p.220-221.
Garner, Nick. “Grant Stevens”, Das Superpaper, Issue 4 March 2009, pp. 7 – 10.
Harvey, Nicola. “Current Shows: Word”, Frieze, August 2009.
Hurrell, John. “The edges of sincerity”, August, 2009.
Kent, Rachel, MCA Collection: New Acquisitions 2009, ex. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Leong, Jacina. “Grant Stevens on Local Art and The Farm,, June 2009
Watkins, Philip, “Philip Watkins On Grant Stevens’ Like Two Ships”, ex. cat. Some Text Missing, Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania, Hobart.
Bonito Oliva, Achille. Artisti Solitari: Uno sguardo dal PONTE sul terzo millenio, Silvana Editoriale, Milan, 2008
Hogg, Vivian. “Grant Stevens: In Conversation”, Eyeline: Contemporary Visual Arts, issue 67, 2008, pp.16 - 24 
Cencigh-Albulario, Laura. “Seven on path to Success: QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards”, The Weekend Australian, November 15-16, 2008, pp. 22-23
Metcalf, Fran, "New Age Identity", Courier Mail, May 21 2008, p.55.
Frost, Andrew, “Warning: this artist is messing with your head”, Australian Art Collector, Issue 44, April-June 2008, pp. 108–113
Fitzgerald, Michael, “RIPE: ANZ Private Bank and Art & Australia Contemporary Art Award” Art & Australia, Vol 45, No.3 Autumn 2008 p. 496
Tudor, Bec, “New Dieties”, Art & Australia, Vol 45, No.3 Autumn 2008 p. 466
Frost, Andrew, “Screen tests”, The Sydney Morning Herald, 24–25 November 2008
Frost, Andrew, “Grant Stevens”, Australian Art Collector, Issue 39, January – March 2007, p. 119.
Carsley, Gary, “Interview with Hayden Fowler”, They Shoot Homos Don’t They?, August 2007
McKay, Peter. Man/Trouble, ex. cat, Downtown Art Space, Adelaide, 2006
Boone, Carole, ‘The Late Sessions Video Art at the Megaplex’, COFA, Issue #60, Autumn/Winter 2006, pp.16-17
Carlon, Kris, ‘Grant Stevens: New Ideas for Cake’, Eyeline, n. 61, Spring 2006, pp.50-51.
Keehan, Reuben, ‘The Late Sessions’, Eyeline, Number 60, Winter 2006, pp.48-49.
Keehan, Reuben, ‘Turtle Twilight, or what Grant Stevens did on his summer holiday’, Anne Landa Award catalogue, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney,
Lewis, Clare, ‘The Late Sessions’, Artlink, vol. 26, no. 2, June 2006, p.88.
Pierce, Julianne, Grant Stevens, GBK catalogue, June 2006
Serisier, Gillian, ‘Video Art’, The Australian Art Market Report, Issue 19, Autumn, 2006, 26-27.
Anonymous, ‘Prime?’, Machine, issue 1.1, 2005, pp.2-4.
Arden, Holly, ‘Then I Let You: Interview’, Artlines, 2-2005, Queensland Art Gallery, pp.38-39.
Butler, Rex, ‘An Art of Its Times’, Australian Art Collector, Issue 31, 2005, pp.118-120
Reilly, Rachel, ‘The Vile Inarticulateness of Love’, ex. cat., Metro Arts
Sorensen, Rosemary, ‘Language video shows the art of winning’, The Courier Mail, 24 November, 2005, p.22.
Zuvela, Danni, ‘When There's Video There's Love’, Machine, issue 1.1,2005, pp.11-13.
Baxter, Virginia ‘A Museum of Accidents’, Real Time, On Screen,  HYPERLINK
Brand, Sally, ‘Dazed and Praised’, UN Magazine, Issue 1, 2004, p.36
Butler, Rex, ‘Zeitgeist’, Exhibition Notes, Australian Centre for Photography, 2004
Chambers, Nicholas, ‘Octopus 5’, catalogue essay, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, July 2004
Fitzgerald, Michael, ‘On the Pulse’, Time Magazine, July 12, 2004, pp.61-62
Kubler, Alison, ‘Out There: Queensland’, Australian Art Collector, Issue 30, 2004, p.231
Nelson, Robert, ‘Octopus 5’, The Age, July 21, 2004
Pennings, Mark and Danni Zuvela, ‘Grant Stevens: Questioning the Return’, Eyeline, Number 55, Spring 2004, pp.15-18.
Priest, Gail ‘When Words Flail You’, Real Time, On Screen,  HYPERLINK ""
Goddard, Angela, “Danger Zone”, ex. cat. Toys 88, Brisbane

Artist's Writings

Peering In: An Interview with Chris Handran and Rachael Haynes, Local Art, Issue 9 December 2003, pp.12-13.
MATS: good practice for going around the horseshoe, interview with Wilkins Hill, Local Art, Issue 7, October 2003, pp.12-13.
B-Sides, Artlink: Contemporary Art Quarterly, vol. 23 no. 3, September 2003, pp.85-86
Tourists, exhibition catalogue for Tourists, Hannah Gatland and Jo Laboo, Gallery A-Go-Go, Brisbane
Hawaiian Shirts and Safari Pants: Chris Howlett Comes Out of the (Political) Closet Wardrobe, Local Art, Issue 4, June 2003, p.12
Interview with David M. Thomas, Local Art, Issue 3, May 2003, pp.13-14.
Making Connections, Artlines: Queensland Art Gallery Magazine, Winter 2003, p.18 (co-written with Dirk Yates)
Your Friends Don't Even Know Me, Local Art, Issue 1, March 2003, p.14
Sonography, Eyeline, Number 49, Summer 2002, pp.49-50.
Looks Like, for 100%, Sebastian Moody, The Farm, Brisbane

Other events 

Selected Screenings

The Drift, Next Wave time lapse festival, Federation Square, Melbourne
Like Two Ships, Art39Basel, Art Unlimited Hall, 2008
Experimenta: Vanishing Point Australia National Tour, Video Jukebox, CAST Gallery Hobart, Devenport Regional Gallery, 24HR Art Darwin
Projekt Video,Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Geraldton Regional Arts Centre, Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, IASKA, Kellerberrin
Artists versus Hollywood, Curzon Cinema, London, The Luton Hat Factory, Luton, The Albany, Lewisham
60 Seconds of Play, Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta
The Great Escape, The Armory, Sydney
The Late Sessions, Hoyts Cinemas, George St, Sydney
Boo Hooray, ABC television
Experimenta: Vanishing Point Cinema Program, ACMI, Melbourne
Electrofringe Video Screening Program, TINA, Newcastle
, Australian Centre of Photography, Sydney
Resfest: Digital Film Festival, ACMI, Melbourne, Opera House, Sydney