MONTAGES: The Full Cut, 1999 – 2015 at Newcastle Art Gallery

31 Aug 2017

MONTAGES: The Full Cut, 1999 – 2015 - Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg opens Saturday 2 September at Newcastle Art Gallery - the full suite of eight montage films by internationally recognised filmmaker Tracey Moffatt and her long time collaborator Gary Hillberg.
Tracey Moffatt is regarded internationally as one of the most important Australian artists of our time, and this year she is the first Australian indigenous artist to present a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Gary Hillberg has been a long-time collaborator of Moffatt’s and also has an independent practice as an experimental filmmaker and music video producer. 

Exhibited together for the first time, these works span 16 years of their collaborative practice, from the first montage created in 1999 to the latest in 2015. The exhibition is a major touring exhibition curated and developed by Artspace Sydney and touring nationally in partnership with Museums & Galleries of NSW.

The suite of 8 video works offers unprecedented insight into the tropes and stereotypes that populate the realm of the moving image and occupy our popular imagination. Splicing and re-contextualising thousands of iconic and lesser-known moments in film, this immense body of work demonstrates Moffatt and Hillberg's sheer verve and virtuosity in the construction of this series over sixteen years.
Newcastle Art Gallery Manager Lauretta Morton said the exhibition is an ode to film and the cinematic form.
"These works utilise and expose common stereotypes in popular cinema, revealing the ways those stereotypes come to inform our collective cultural imagination," said Morton. "They look at the nature of representation on film and the influence of historical and cultural biases on the viewer."
Mining an extensive collection of iconic Hollywood films, telemovies and arthouse cinemaMONTAGES: The Full Cut, 1999 – 2015 - Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg invents new fictions and plays with narrative and character conventions to create highly charged compositions on polemic themes such as love, art, revolution and destruction. 

  • Lip, 1999, depicts black female servants talking back to their white bosses, implicitly tracing a history of race relations on screen;
  • Artist, 2000, portrays the Hollywood clichés of the lives of artists and their tempestuous whims;
  • Love, 2003, is a commentary on classic cinema’s depiction of romance and intimacy, which also exposes darker themes of co-dependency and violence against women;
  • Doomed, 2007, looks at cinematic portrayals of doomsday scenarios;
  • REVOLUTION, 2008, confronts social power structures and struggles;
  • Mother, 2009, is a compilation of archetypal maternal characters;
  • Other, 2010, deconstructs the mix of desire and fear that defines the treatment of the ubiquitous ‘other’ in cinema; and
  • The Art, 2015, examines the nature of the art world and its complex relationship with the market and commodification.

8 films, total running time 1 hour 40 minutes
All works courtesy the artists, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York.


Tracey Moffatt uses a combination of film, video and photography to dismantle conventions of storytelling in a vividly Australian context, drawing on her own life experiences to explore issues of gender, race, sexuality and identity. Using a deliberately stylised artifice that references the history of art and photography, Moffatt’s body of work nevertheless transcends the specificities of Australian suburban living and the harshness of life in the outback to communicate meanings of universal significance – reflected in her established international reputation, which has garnered a global market for her work.
Moffatt’s work is held in major Australian collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Portrait Gallery and Queensland Art Gallery. Internationally, her work is held at institutions across the USA including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; at the Tate, London, as well as public and private collections across Europe and Asia.
Gary Hillberg received a Certificate of Proficiency, Film and Television Editing from AFTRS in 1981 and has been working as an experimental filmmaker and music video producer since the late 1980s. Hillberg has edited three commercial films: With Time to Kill (1984), Broken Highway (1993), and Hayride to Hell (1995) as well as collaborating with Tracey Moffatt on the montage series.
Hillberg presents regular movie reviews on RRR Melbourne’s weekly Film Buff’s Forecast. He lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.  

Images above: Tracey Moffatt & Gary Hillberg, Artist (still), 2000, 7 minutes, looped video, sound.
Courtesy the artist, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery and Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York.