Official opening: 3:00pm, Saturday 17th September, 2022
Exhibition continues until Saturday 29th October, 2022
Compared to books and films, video games are a genre in which you can have autonomy in your journey. You can move your character, explore the world, defeat bad guys, or watch the ocean waves roll in. Informed by Danny Jarratt’s experience of growing up as a queer child in the 1990s in a low socioeconomic rural area, video games became a queer safe space for him.
Video games allow the player to change the form they take and the worlds they inhabit. As a player, Jarratt was able to inhabit different characters such as a pair of Italian plumber brothers, a space bounty huntress or a cute pink blob who loves to eat everything. This allowed Jarratt to explore his identity, taking up new forms and genders.
Video games also allow players to explore different worlds, from green grasslands to deserts to celestial dimensions. However, like many forms of entertainment, they are also commercial products which replicate the values of the people who created it. As a result, 90s video games often accommodate cis, white, heterosexual males and othering to almost everyone else. Video games are practically a queer utopia, but something is missing.
Informed by queer academic research from Judith Butler and Jack Halberstam, Jarratt suggests that video games can be queered thanks to the potential of glitches in video games. Glitches are programming errors that allow the internals of video games to be seen. The escapism of the medium is broken. However, rather than turn against it, Jarratt invites you to walk into the glitch.
Jarratt explores themes of heteronormativity, video game values and the queer potential of glitches in Neo Glitch City with his tongue firmly in his cheek. The exhibition presents the artist-made video game Neo Glitch City, in which players control a character who seeks to escape the medieval township of Loverton and explore the hidden glitched world from which the game title comes. In addition to the game, a series of abstract paintings function as compelling images and maps to guide you through the
Goodbye hetero-world! Let us explore NEȌ̷̢̜̐̋̒̌̏Ι Ǧ̴̨͚Ĺ̵̮̙́Į̴̺̊̚T̷͔̈́C̶͖̲̾̒H̷̗̍ ̴̲̱̼͖̬̩̊͝CIŢ̴͓̦̹̂͜Y̷̝̯̯͔͒̂̊̈́̉͑
Artwork credit: Danny Jarratt, The First Level is Always Green, Digital Print on Premium Gloss Canvas (2019).
Artwork credit: Danny Jarratt, Neo Glitch City 2.0 (Video game still) (2020) (detail).
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Danny Jarratt (b. 1990. Kaurna Land, Adelaide) is an emerging queer artist exploring the intersection of queer theory, video games and painting. His work reflects a keen interest in the transformative nature of video games and their ability to create new spaces. Informed by his own queer experience, he explores the idea that video games can create queer counterpublics that disrupt heteronormative expectations.
He graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Art & Design (Honours). He has exhibited in Adelaide at FELTspace, MOD., Praxis Artspace, Fontanelle Gallery and The Adelaide Festival Theatre, and interstate at Seventh Gallery, Victoria. He has also had international features in group exhibitions in Greece, North America and England and was a finalist in the STARV’D Art Prize in Singapore.