Ebb and flow

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"For three and a half minutes Josh, age 10, is a rock star. Fuelled by boyish hero-worship, Josh air-guitars to a song of his own choosing in a performance that gently flows back and forth between boy and rock hero; between bravado and self-consciousness; between originality and imitation. Framed by cheap pink curtains and staged like an Idol talent quest, Josh performs along with the music – not as a musician, but as a performer in a rite of passage, playing out a ritualised performance.

The song that Josh chose – Pretty Vegas by INXS – was co-written and sung by JD Fortune. Fortune was the winner of the 2005 Rock Star: INXS competition, a reality TV series in which 15 contestants competed to become the ‘replacement’ for Michael Hutchence. In this, JD Fortune’s performance of Pretty Vegas offers itself up as a convenient mirror to Josh’s simple gesture, with Fortune himself shifting between contestant and rock hero, between originality and imitation. Gibbs is interested in the power of these performative rituals and their role in mediating identity and subjectivity."

Designed for continuous loop.

Credits: 

Video, Camera, Editing: Sandy Gibbs
Performer: Josh Williams