14 October–18 November 200514 Oct–18 Nov 2005
Rev-heads have great set pieces to show off the power of their machines and their driving prowess. They do burnouts, doughnuts and hand-breakies causing their tyres to vaporise in clouds of smoke to the rapturous applause of their peers. These days police will confiscate cars if they catch their drivers attempting such stunts. However every year Canberra enjoys Summernats, a pageant for hot-rods, street machines and ‘sleepers’, where this activity is legitimised and commodified as a spectacle. Melbourne artist Ben Morieson’s video Burnout 2004—Overhead combines such events and fine art. A car performs choreographed manoeuvres under instructions from the artist for an enthusiastic audience. It is filmed from on high, from a camera suspended from a cherrypicker. From this godly vantage point we can appreciate burnouts and doughnuts as a spectacular kind of drawing.