David Noonan's current exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery features a 16mm film produced in collaboration with fellow Melbourne-based artist, Simon Trevaks. The Likening is a three minute loop of a young woman being slowly and suspensefully drawn through the interior of a luxury apartment by an invisible and possibly menacing otherworldly force. We read this unnamed and unknown presence in her countenance, in her expression of curiosity and expectation all of which is amplified by the climactic melodrama of the accompanying musical soundtrack. Noonan and Trevaks's camera leads its beautiful protagonist through a series of unfolding doorways, apertures to an other dimension. She arrives, eventually, at her destination, a metaphysically-ambiguous encounter with her double, her self.
In The Likening, Noonan and Trevaks employ again the looping technique of their previous works—such as 100mph (2000), More Apt to be Lost Than Got (2000) and 99 (1999)—to focus and intensify a minimal cinematic sequence. Much of the formal tension of The Likening is given by the parallel structures established throughout the work: the woman's face—shot in close-up—and the enclosed and claustrophobic architectural interior—whose rooms are also perfect mirror-images of each other. Indeed, the tightly-knit relationship between the face of the actor and its containing architecture is now a signature motif of Noonan and Trevaks. In The Likening, this redoubles the already present mirroring and duplication—the metaphor—of identity to which the title points.
The Likening featured in the Australian video program, Screenlife, organised by and screened at 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne and the Reina Sofia in Madrid to coincide with the Australian program at the international contemporary art fair, ARCO, in Spain this year. (Screenlife is currently being shown at the Govett-Brewster Gallery in New Zealand.) In 1999, David Noonan was selected for the Primavera exhibition of young art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. He was also selected for the Istanbul Biennale in 2001. David Noonan and Simon Trevaks have been producing collaborative work since 1999. The Likening will be Noonan's second solo exhibition with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. David Noonan also works in painting, photography and installation. His work is held by the National Gallery of Victoria and Monash University as well as numerous private collections both in Australia and overseas.