John Spiteri

In the work of John Spiteri painting is extended through the medium of video and the logic of installation. His paintings exist in their own right: scenes and objects drawn in outline with a cartoon-like simplicity, and filled in with a limited palette of saturated colours. But through the use of video he develops their narrative impulse.

In Nightlife the camera tracks through the painting, now like a stage-set, while the soundtrack provides dialogue between unseen characters. The camera pans an empty streetscape stopping at a lit window, the soundtrack repeats a repertoire of inconclusive conversations between a central protagonist and the people he meets. Installed in the front window of 200 Gertrude Street, the viewer attracted by the lighted window is placed in the same position as the protagonist in the video - drawn in as they pass by, tempted into engagement, breaking off, going home. In this way Spiteri sets up an interaction between the fictive space of representation and the real space of the viewer, blurring the boundary between them.

Robyn McKenzie

(From her Samstag catalogue essay Art and Research)