Cate Blanchett stars in Red, a Del Kathryn Barton short film

Thursday, Sep 22, 2016

Hi everyone!

As part of the 2017 Adelaide Festival, the Art Gallery of South Australia will receive the new collaboration between two of Australia’s greatest artists – Cate Blanchett and Del Kathryn Barton. The short film entitled Red will be screened at AGSA and become part of the gallery’s collection. Enjoy some articles about the film and the first stills!

Better known for her dreamy, abstract portraits, Del Kathryn Barton is venturing into the world of film, with her first work – starring Cate Blanchett – to debut at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The short film, titled Red, is a surrealist take on female power inspired by the mating rituals of the Australian red back spider.

“This brutal chronicle spoke to me of the poetics of female power as an inherent and indeed, elemental force in the universe,” Barton said in a statement.

“By intercutting human protagonists with extraordinary macro footage, Red has evolved into what I now consider to be an uncompromising celebration of female power.”

It will be the first time Blanchett and Barton have collaborated and the first time Barton has attempted a film on her own accord; the artist’s two other experiences in film have been under the guidance of filmmaker Brendan Fletcher.

The film will be presented as part of the 2017 Adelaide Festival in January, which runs from Thursday the 26th January to Sunday the 30th of April at the Art Gallery of South Australia..

Source: Vogue Australia

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del kathryn barton Australia, born 1972 RED, 2016 high resolution digital video, 15 mins, patrons edition 2/3 (film still); Gift of the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2016, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Images courtesy of the artist

She is venomous, eats her partner after sex and weaves a tangled web.

With such a reputation, it is little wonder the Australian redback spider has inspired two of Australia’s greatest artists – Cate Blanchett and Del Kathryn Barton – to create a short film that will premiere at the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of the 2017 Adelaide Festival.
RED is billed as a surreal, savage tale of female power inspired by the mating rituals of the redback spider, which stars Blanchett, actor Alex Russell and the Sydney Dance Company’s Charmene Yap.

“In essence, the narrative in RED illuminates the unusual mating rituals of the Australian red-back spider,” Barton said. “Here, our brave little male after copulating with the monumental female gently somersaults into her mouth, offering himself as a meal postcoital. If she is not hungry she will store his bound, dying body on her web for later consumption.”

In a Q&A with the gallery, Barton said the mating habits evoked what she described as “the poetics of female power as an inherent and indeed, elemental force in the universe”.

“By intercutting human protagonists with extraordinary macro footage, RED has evolved into what I now consider to be an uncompromising celebration of female power.”

The dual-screen work delve into themes of passion, sex and death, drawing on the symbolism of the female redback spider.

Barton’s portrait of Blanchett and her children, Mother (a portrait of Cate), was a finalist in the 2011 Archibald Prize.
Blanchett, a two-time Academy Award winner, can currently be seen in German artist Julian Rosefeldt art film Manifesto at the Art Gallery of NSW. The versatile actor will also make her Broadway in December in the Sydney Theatre Company production The Present, Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Platonov, which also stars Richard Roxburgh.

Barton said she screamed out loud when Blanchett agreed to appear in the short film.

“On shoot day, she nailed the long cutting performance on the first take,” she said. “Her energy exploded off the monitor. We were all blown away. Cate is mother. At that point I knew that the stakes on RED had just gone to another level. I was actually shitting myself just a little bit.”

Barton embarked on the film after winning a $50,000 creative fellowship from the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2015.

A two-time Archibald Prize winner, Barton’s art often examines fertility and the psychology of relationships. Her previous films include the human dress (2012) and last year’sThe Nightingale and the Rose.

The short film will be screened at AGSA and become part of the gallery’s collection. AGSA director Nick Mitzevich said the short film would take Barton’s “career to a new level and to new audiences”.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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del kathryn barton Australia, born 1972 RED, 2016 high resolution digital video, 15 mins, patrons edition 2/3 (film still); Gift of the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2016, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Images courtesy of the artist

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